Cafe Sushi struggles through road construction

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By Carol A. Clark

As has been the case with other businesses near the construction zone along Diamond Drive, Cafe Sushi is feeling a marked decrease in lunchtime customers.

Customer Karen Alaniz explained that a friend of hers went to the restaurant recently at noon to find that he was the first customer for the day. Owner Ana Fukui looked to be on the verge of tears, Alaniz said.

"Ana explained that the construction has really hurt her lunch business," she said. "Whereas before the construction she regularly had to turn customers away, now she desperately hopes customers will arrive."

Alaniz also mentioned she never has to wait for a table anymore. She called another friend and they made a point of going there for lunch. Her friend also has been taking her children there for dinner once a week to help out.

"My friend spoke to Ana who said her customers just can't take the time for lunch at Cafe Sushi when it takes them so long to get there and back with the construction," Alaniz said.

Fukui and her husband K have owned the restaurant located in the strip mall at 3801 Arkansas Avenue Suite C for 10 years and said business has never been this bad. “It’s rough for all of us here in the strip mall right now and we all need the community to make an effort to come and support us,” she said. “We are very grateful for the support we have received from our landlords Jackie and Leonard Beebe. They returned our whole rent to all of us business owners here following the first month of construction to help us get through and they have been very supportive all along.”

Alaniz is encouraging people to patronize the Fukui’s business. “I would hate to see Cafe Sushi forced to close down because of construction when all they need is a little extra effort on the part of their customers to help them through the next few weeks of construction,” Alaniz said. “They are a fabulous restaurant. They are a fabulous family. They run a fabulous restaurant."

iGuide.com agrees, describing the sushi bar on their website as offering “some of the best sushi in the state, the fish is always remarkably fresh and expertly prepared.” Public Works Engineering Manager Ted Garcia expects construction to be completed soon. “We anticipate the construction to be completed from the golf course up to 39th Street sometime in December,” Garcia said. “The traffic signals should be completed today (Friday) and we have some utility poles that need to come down within the next two weeks and that will allow for installation of new traffic signals.”

Traffic will flow much better once the traffic signals are in, Garcia said.

Cafe Sushi is open Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m., for lunch and 5-6:45 p.m., for dinner.

For information, call 662-7131.