Article Originally Published on LivingstonDaily.com, click here to read the original by Jennifer Timar
A national sushi vendor picked Brighton’s Meijer as the location for its first dine-in sushi and craft beer eatery. Charlotte, N.C.-based Hissho Sushi added its first Hissho Sushi & Craft Beer Bar to the Meijer store at 8650 Grand River Ave. It is a new concept Hissho Sushi is trying out.
“Customers want more than to buy sushi and leave. They want an experience,” said Brian Kiel, Hissho Sushi’s vice president of operations.
The Brighton eatery was soft opened, as of Wednesday, serving sushi, other meals, breakfast foods and desserts. A grand opening will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Friday. It will be a “red-carpet style event,” according to a company release. Giveaways will be handed out to the first 25 customers, and shoppers can enter to win free Hissho Sushi for a year.
It is located just inside the grocery entrance to the store by the deli section in a former Starbucks, which closed last year.
Michigan Brew + New Menu
By Friday’s grand opening, the eatery will begin serving craft beer and wine. It will serve craft beers from Kalamazoo-based Bell’s Brewery.
“It’s important when customers come into Meijer, they feel it’s local,” Kiel said. “With this new concept, we’re trying to keep it local with local craft beer providers.”
He said the sushi and beer bar will also serve popular wines. The eatery will offer sushi rolls prepared daily. It will also serve hot appetizers such as Asian chicken wings, boom boom shrimp and dim sum. A full breakfast menu includes avocado toast, acai bowls and fruit smoothies.
Kiel said the company expanded its menu to include non-sushi dishes at the Brighton location.
Gan Hpung, a sushi chef and franchise owner of the Brighton location, has prepared sushi and delivered it to 16 locations in Ann Arbor, including coffee shops and convenience stores near the campus of the University of Michigan.
Hpung said he is excited to run the company’s first Hissho Sushi & Craft Beer Bar and interact with customers face-to-face.
“Now, I have a little more power to serve customers,” he said.
He said crispy crab and crispy shrimp sushi rolls are the most popular items he has sold.
“I also like to do poké bowls for people,” he said. Poké bowls typically consist of diced raw fish, rice, vegetables and other ingredients mixed together.
A ‘launching pad’ in Brighton; Royal Oak up next
Kiel said the Brighton location, as well as a second location they are planning for a Meijer store in Royal Oak, will be a “launching pad” to test out the company’s new concept. The Royal Oak location is expected to open sometime this year.
“We’ll test these two, and if Meijer decides to, we’ll continue to scale it,” he said. “The ultimate goal would be to grow these locations in Meijer stores, maybe not in all of them, but hand-picked locations.
Hissho Sushi is not new to Meijer. The store sold sushi out of a small display case. The company already has its products in about 100 Meijer stores, but none of them have a restaurant space like Brighton’s.
The company, founded in 1998, sells sushi at grocery and convenience stores, universities and corporate services and healthcare facilities. Sushi is prepared and sold by franchisees, sometimes on site. Other franchise owners delivery sushi to stores and facilities.
“That is more of a grab-and-go situation,” Kiel said.
He said Hissho Sushi is sold in about 1,750 locations in 42 states.
“With this new concept, Hissho Sushi is redefining the experience of a customer’s visit to their local grocery store,” Danny Beem, CEO of Hissho Sushi, said in a release. “It is our commitment to our retail partners and their customers to deliver hand-crafted, premium sushi that’s prepared by local chefs daily. This Hissho Sushi & Craft Beer Bar allows us to go even further, providing one-of-a-kind experiences where shoppers can conveniently enjoy our products, enjoy a local craft beer and get in their weekly grocery run.”Dan Beem, CEO | Hissho Sushi