Abe Ng, CEO of Sushi Maki, today announced the October opening of a new restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., introducing a first-of-a-kind concept he calls “Polished Fast-Casual Dining.” The restaurant, which represents the company’s first stand-alone location in Broward County, will occupy a 2,500-square-foot, Class A space at 200 East Las Olas Boulevard, which previously was occupied by Beehive Kitchen. Plans call for hiring over 25 full- and part-time team members from the surrounding neighborhood.
A “roll-cutting” event scheduled for November will include local elected officials, business leaders and community members. Details will be announced in the coming weeks.
Ng, a well-known restaurateur and business leader noted for expanding his family’s Canton Chinese Restaurants since the late 1990s to become an award-winning, go-to regional sushi brand, is responding to changing customer preferences and market dynamics in the New Normal by introducing the “Polished Fast-Casual Dining” concept which he expects will create a new industry standard.
“We are proud to introduce the first ‘Polished Fast-Casual Sushi Bar,’ a dining concept which further elevates our brand promise of providing premium, healthful and delicious sushi for the everyday – by making our sushi available to our customers when, where and how they want it,” Ng says. “Our Polished Fast-Casual Concept combines the best of all worlds by offering premium food delivered with the speed, access and convenience today’s customers prefer and will make our restaurant a go-to destination for locals and tourists alike.”
Specifically, the Polished Fast-Casual Dining concept represents an evolution of the traditional fast-casual by including real glassware and plateware rather than disposable options, and enabling customers to choose whether to order from team members or QR codes and enjoy their meals at tables indoors or outdoors, or pick up their meals curbside from dedicated “grab and go” parking spots.
The Fort Lauderdale location will be the first of this concept in Broward County and feature new menu options, including: a premium “Las Olas” roll including mango and sustainably sourced salmon celebrating the area’s unique flavors, as well as tuna poke nachos.
Ng is investing a significant amount in the custom buildout and in local community partnerships and outreach, as he has done at his other locations throughout the region. The move is viewed as a strong local economic indicator, signaling the return to office, and the migration to Fort Lauderdale from national and local professionals, families and tourists.
“Expanding to Fort Lauderdale’s bustling Las Olas corridor is a pivotal strategic step as part of our continued expansion as South Florida’s go-to sushi restaurant chain,” Ng says. “We are seeing a growing demand for quality lunch and dinner options on Las Olas as our business-friendly region continues to attract local and national professionals and families. These individuals are migrating to Fort Lauderdale based on its attractive benefits, including beautiful weather, great schools, access to mass transit, central location between Miami and Palm Beach, and unique entertainment and amenities in what is becoming a regional destination to live, work and play.”
Beyond its quality menu offerings and service, Ng believes the company’s continued expansion since 2000 is based on its mission of “Spreading Goodness” by contributing to the local communities served. This mission includes supporting nonprofit organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Breakthrough Miami and the National Christian Foundation, which bring together people of all backgrounds. It also includes investing in certification from the Marine Stewardship Council as part of the company’s commitment to source the highest quality, sustainable seafood.