It didn't take long for someone to scoop up the old Country Kitchen building. Rayna and Steve Tucker, the former owners of Ice Cracking Lodge, closed Friday on their purchase of the Highway 10 location, with big plans to keep it a restaurant but flip the food options.
"It's (going to be) sushi, hibachi, noodles, and American cuisine," said Rayna, adding that the restaurant will be named Sapphire. "I've always wanted to have a sushi restaurant. I think we've talked about it for, like, 10 years."
The sushi side of the business is still contingent on whether or not the Tuckers can find a qualified chef, though. Rayna says professional sushi chefs are hard to come by. She has been traveling to Fargo and the Twin Cities hoping to recruit a couple. They're also just looking for employees in general.
"We need employees .... We'll need two executive chefs for the sushi side. If the sushi chef knows about hibachi, that's good. If not, we'll need someone who knows about hibachi," said Rayna.
But if they can't find a sushi chef, that doesn't mean they will throw in the towel. The Tuckers are pretty confident they will still be able to offer hibachi and noodles, as well as traditional American fare, of course.
"We've talked to several people where the wife likes sushi and the husband is like, uhhh," said Rayna with a laugh.
They're going to be sure to not leave anyone's taste out.
"We're doing broasted chicken and, like, a lunch buffet with a salad bar. If there's a sushi chef by then, we'd probably have pieces of sushi on that lunch buffet, too," said Steve. "And we'll have burgers and fries and chicken strips and some apps like that for the American side for people who don't like sushi."
The Tuckers plan to completely gut and redo the interior of the building in order to achieve that hibachi and sushi restaurant ambiance. While the hibachi won't be a traditional, open-kitchen style, Rayna says the sushi bar (if they find a chef) will be visible to the customers. They're also going to gut and redo the kitchen and add a full beverage bar.
"We want an open, modern theme," said Rayna.
Because of all the renovations, Rayna says they won't be opening until mid-June. But when they do open, they will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week.