Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Atarashi, formerly known as Sushi Fuku, to open a South Hills location this spring.

Atarashi, the new name of the small Oakland chain formerly known as Sushi Fuku, aims to open a South Hills location in May 2021. It will be located at 1720 Washington Rd. (map), across the street from South Hills Village Mall.

Two of the Sushi Fuku locations in Oakland rebranded as Atarashi---meaning new in Japanese---in August; the South Craig St. location split with ownership and retains the Sushi Fuku name.

Ting Yen opened the first Sushi Fuku on Oakland Avenue in 2012. The Pittsburgh Business Times profiled Yen as its second location was under construction on S. Craig St. in 2015.
A native of Taiwan who moved to Pittsburgh when he was 13, Yen grew up in the restaurant business — his father owned restaurants such as Yen’s Gourmet in Greenfield — before studying computer science at the University of Pittsburgh, where he later pursued an MBA.

Building on his experience of running the sushi bar franchise for Giant Eagle supermarkets, Yen has been devising a system for Sushi Fuku for six years, seeing opportunity in new automated machinery for preparing seaweed and rice that is being used in Japan and Manhattan.

It’s a combination of assembly line processing paired with the traditional knife and hand-rolling skills of sushi making that's enabled Sushi Fuku to dramatically cut down on the preparation time. Yen said the added automation is the only way to to serve very high-quality sushi at an affordable price in a restaurant that also allows diners to completely customize their orders.

The success of the first Sushi Fuku has given Yen confidence to pursue expansion.

“We serve between 300 to 500 customers a day,” he said. “We’re always packed.”