City Paper is not for tourists
With its Spinal Tap-like logo, Sushi Rock will share one other trait with the 1984 rockumentary: faux rawk-star glamor.
The new concept from the folks behind Public Bar will mix Japanese cuisine with American rock ‘n’ roll in an environment that Tony Hudgins, a managing partner for Public Group, says will make diners feel like they’re bigger than Lady Gaga. Or at least bigger than Gidgets Ga Ga.
The restaurant/bar in the former Yaku space is designed to “make people feel like they are onstage,” says Hudgins. “The decor of the walls, literally, will look as if it’s [the raised] hands of people at a concert, as if they were clapping or jumping up and down, dancing.”
DJs will add to the effect by mixing and mashing up music videos on seven TVs at the back of the expanded boomerang-shaped bar. The final touch will be, of course, a digital karaoke machine for those who want to take the rock-star trip one step further.
The food, Hudgins promises, will be equally rock star. Public Group is in negotiations with a chef whom Hudgins cannot yet name but hopes to hire by Friday. Sushi Rock will serve “the highest quality sushi that we can bring [and] a very distinctive mix of rolls that will be both traditional and eclectic,” Hudgins says. There will also be a hot food component.
“We don’t see ourselves as restaurant people in the sense that we’re not the guys at Brasserie Beck or we’re not Jose Andres,” Hudgins says. “But we do think that food quality is extremely, extremely important.”
The wine and sake lists will also prove Sushi Rock’s commitment to quality drinks, he adds.
Sushi Rock is hoping to open in early March, but whenever it finally launches, locals should not confuse the concept with similar named restaurants in Ohio or Florida or California, all of which are separate entities from this Sushi Rock in Arlington.
“It would be one thing if the name were distinctively tied to one particular brand, but it’s not,” Hudgins says. “We really ended up liking the name, and there wasn’t one here.”