Mitsunori Kusakabe (while at Sushi Ran). Flickr photo by Gina Collecchia/The Intrepid Traveler.
Now that Mitsunori “Nori” Kusakabe (previously at Sushi Ran) has taken possession of the former Machka in the Financial District, I was able to get some more details about his plans for the location, called ~KUSAKABE~. GM Daisuke Miyake let me know they are targeting early March for the opening. The menu will be based on a kaiseki format, which will include sushi and other dishes. The prix-fixe menu will range somewhere in the $85-$100 range, and there is also discussion of offering an omakase sushi menu as well.
The space is small: it will have 30 seats, with 15 at the sushi bar, which will be the focus of the space. I spoke with Shaum Mehra of ArcHive, who is behind the interior and building; his design partner is Sepideh Majidi, and they are collaborating with the architect, Fumio Suda. Mehra mentioned the space is going to be elegant and have some drama, and will blend the ancient and the modern. When you walk in, it will feel like you are walking through an alley in Kyoto, with dark reclaimed woods, while the sushi bar and small seating area will contrast with lighter woods. Mehra said they want to create some mystery in the tight space, while keeping things clean and simple, and there will be lots of wood details.
I’ll have another update for you as the opening gets closer. 584 Washington St. at Columbus.