For the past eight years, Rayna Tucker has wanted to open her own sushi and hibachi restaurant. When Country Kitchen closed this spring, and the building was listed for sale, Tucker jumped on it and started working toward accomplishing her dream.
Five months later and Tucker is ready to open Sapphire sushi, at 705 U.S. Highway 10 East.
"It just kind of came at the right time," Tucker said.
She and her husband owned Ice Cracking Lodge in Ponsford for 12 years before selling it in February. Tucker has been in the restaurant business since she was 13 years old, working at her parent's bakery in Alaska. Those Alaskan ties are a big reason why she wanted her own sushi and hibachi restaurant, but it was also because "there's nothing really in this area," Tucker said.
When she first started working on opening Sapphire in April, the original name Tucker had envisioned was "Legends." But, she decided she needed to find something new once she realized that there already was a "Legends" restaurant in Moorhead.
"I started researching names and I called my daughter, who was on a bus going to a choir meet, and I started naming off names," Tucker said. While she said the names, the other bus riders would boo, and once she said "Sapphire," they all yelled "yes!"
Now, the name ties in perfectly as the building has a variety of blue hues surrounding it.
After deciding on her business name, Tucker and her family had a lot of work cut out for them. She said that the building was in worse condition than they expected and they had to gut out the whole inside of it. This pushed their intended opening date back about a month and a half.
But, they are now ready to open Friday, Aug. 23.
Tucker put the menu out on Facebook on Monday, giving her followers a preview of what was to come. One of her cooks helped her figure out what to offer, which includes sushi, hibachi, sashimi, nigiri, ramen bowls, some american dishes and more. Tucker did share that their menu may be adjusted, depending on what her cooks can handle and what she sees fitting.
"Just give us a couple weeks to get all the kinks worked out and be patient with us," Tucker said.
From the feedback on Facebook and the reservations already made, Tucker is expecting them to be "slammed." She is very thankful for the community in Detroit Lakes, different contractors and business, and all of her family and friends for "helping out to get this dream of mine into a reality."
If you go
Sapphire Sushi, Hibachi and American Cuisine can be reached at 218-844-0220. Their hours are Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.