Magnolia Restaurant and Sushi Bar, the notable nouveau American eatery/traditional sushi bar in a nondescript strip mall in Lafayette, was sold in May. Now the space has re-emerged as 95a Bistro and Sushi.
"The new sign is going up as we speak," says owner Rob Kukura. "We can now start answering the phone with the new name." That name, he notes, is based on the restaurant's physical address: 95 Arapahoe Road.
Kukura, previously the general manager at The Mediterranean in Boulder, a post he held for nineteen years, bought the restaurant from Emily and Chris Deutschman. The Deutschmans, who had opened and then quickly closed a fast-casual seafood joint in Capitol Hill last year, were looking to sell the place so they could focus on raising their about-to-be born baby.
"I've been in the restaurant business all my life, working for other people, and I've always wanted to own my own place," explains Kukura. "So when the opportunity came up, I took it."
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The menu at 95a won't be that different from Magnolia's: fairly broad, although now there won't be any item over $20. "We have simple, great food at a great price," explains Kukura "We want everything to be affordable and approachable."
As for the sushi bar next door, known as Sushi Mara, Kukura says 95a will continue to incorporate sushi, but it will be incorporated into the main menu -- as will the space itself. "We've always had really good sushi, and it will definitely remain a focus," he explains. "But now, everything is under one roof."
Kukura plans to host a grand-opening celebration early next month.