The dining room and windows at Kusakabe. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.
The bar at Kusakabe. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.
The back brick wall and entry wall. Photo: Dana Eastland. © tablehopper.com.
A report by Dana Eastland. As promised in our piece last week, we’ve now got photos and an opening date for ~KUSAKABE~, opening on Wednesday May 21st (that’s tomorrow!). To recap, it’s a 31-seater from chef-owner Mitsunori “Nori” Kusakabe, serving sushi in a kaiseki style with a focus on harmony and seasonality.
Now about the space, since it’s ready and has passed inspections. It’s intimate and comfortable, and was designed by Shaum Mehra of ArcHive Architecture. There’s an L-shaped elm bar with a live edge, with a slatted lower ceiling of eucalyptus over the bar area that matches an open slat wall that divides the entrance from the main dining room. The dining area is wood-paneled, with large windows facing the street. The space has quite a calming feeling for being in the middle of the FiDi.
The entry hallway is all exposed brick, which extends behind the bar seating and all the way to the back of the restaurant. The bar seating faces a semi-open kitchen, with special areas for sushi preparation and a block of shelving for storage.
In the dining room, elm was also used for the custom tabletops, which has been sanded and polished smooth, but not overtreated; they still retain the warm, softness of the wood. The comfortable but unfussy chairs are upholstered in soft, oyster-colored leather, and minimalist lighting fixtures add to the pared-down yet welcoming aesthetic. The official opening date, as mentioned above, is Wednesday May 21st, and reservations are available. Hours are Tue-Sun 5pm-10pm, prix-fixe only. 584 Washington St. at Columbus.