Spicy Tuna Sushi Bar & Grill ‘combines two cultures’Written by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Life has come full circle for Li Yu.
He and his wife, Sara, recently opened a sushi and Asian fusion cuisine restaurant in Holland at the same location his father ran a popular Chinese eatery for years.
Spicy Tuna Sushi Bar & Grill opened in late December at 7130 Airport Highway, where Fu Yi Chinese Restaurant operated for more than 15 years before closing in the mid-2000s.
“We kept a good portion of the recipes from Fu Yi and in addition to that we have the sushi menu, which consists of over 70 different items,” Yu said. “And then I wanted to add some American cuisine; however I kind of altered it with Asian flavor, so if you order steak, it has an Asian barbeque flavor and if you order the burger or wings, it’s got an Asian flavor to it. So it’s kind of combining the two cultures together.”
Yu, who grew up working at Fu Yi, in positions ranging from dishwasher to manager, said many former regulars were excited as word spread that a family member had returned.
“It’s gone pretty good so far,” Yu said. “I think we’re drawing a lot of attention. We’ve been getting a lot of good feedback from customers.”
An old Fu Yi favorite — hot and sour soup — has been a top seller at Spicy Tuna Sushi as well, Yu said.
“Since the beginning, our hot and sour soup was known to be the best hot and sour soup by far and we had people drive even a couple hours to buy large quantities,” Yu said.
After Fu Yi closed, a steakhouse opened in the space, but when that closed and the location sat empty for a while, Yu started thinking about opening another restaurant.
“Just seeing the plaza space empty for, I think, over a year and a half now, I thought why not give it a shot and see what happens,” Yu said. “I realized there really wasn’t another sushi restaurant in this area. Most are in the Central and Monroe area. So a lot of people are happy about that.”
Yu’s brother-in-law, Eric Park, is the head sushi chef. Sake and imported Japanese and Thai beer are featured at the bar. There is also live music, karaoke and a daily special, including discounts for veterans, police and firefighters.
Yu said he wanted to create a relaxed, cozy, welcoming atmosphere that would have the feel of an outdoor patio, even inside during winter. There is also an actual patio that will be open in warmer months.
To set it apart from other sushi venues, the family added TVs and a game room to create a sports bar vibe, Yu said. The walls in the game room, which includes a pool table and several game machines, are being painted with colorful murals related to Japanese culture, including Godzilla, samurai, ninjas and a geisha.
“With the former Fu Yi family, we’ve been a large part of the community and have been here a long time, so coming back kind of feels like home,” Yu said. “We really do appreciate everyone’s support and just look forward to working and serving people.”
Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
For information, visit www.spicytunasushi.com or call (419) 720-9332.