Reikyu Sushi is a Hip Hibachi

The day Mark Lee opened Reikyu Sushi in Mockingbird Station five years ago he had $500 burning a hole in his business account. That was after he blazed through an $80,000 dad loan and the $180,000 bank loan he leveraged through Dad's seed money. Back then he was 20 years old. Now 25 and master of the 12-step plan to success through balls-to-the-wall undercapitalization, Lee premieres his sequel: Okada Japanese Steakhouse in McKinney. Innovation No. 1: the sushi-cocktail bar where you can watch master chefs carve and rice-up your clams while bartenders jet fuel your sake-tinis. Innovation No. 2: hip hibachi. "Usually you walk into a hibachi restaurant, it's real tacky," Lee says. "Here, we don't have any chairs. We have benches going around."

Patrick Colombo's (Ferre Ristorante) big year: Drop a Crú wine bar this April in the Watters Creek at Montgomery Farm development in Allen; add a second Crú in Austin this March; cue up another Crú in Denver come May. Add this: Shape up Steel Restaurant & Lounge (Colombo's Restaurant Works Inc. manages Steel on behalf of investor Mike Chen, founder of Kirin Court Chinese restaurant) after its lackluster November opening in Atlanta. "It certainly hasn't been the reception we get in Dallas," he admits...Door-to-door Mad Dog: U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater ruled last week in Dallas that Texas regulations barring direct wine shipments to Lone Star consumers from out-of-state wine merchants was unconstitutional. Sarasota, Florida, retailer Siesta Village Market and Dallas resident Ken Travis teamed to sue Texas regulators in March 2006 alleging Texas laws permitting in-state retailers to sell and ship wine to consumers while prohibiting out-of-state retailers from doing the same was discriminatory and hence violated the interstate commerce clause. This is on top of a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court decision stipulating that no state can bar shipments from out-of-state wine producers to consumers for the purpose of protecting in-state competitors...Chef Mickie Crockett is out of the kitchen at Trader Vic's. She turned in her pink chef's coats and shoes to be general manager of Consilient Restaurants' The Porch. "Actually, she wanted to be a general manager here, but we had more of a need for a chef," Trader Vic's operator Rusty Fenton says.

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Mark Stuertz
Contact: Mark Stuertz

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