Sushi Den architects share plans for the South Pearl project

This month started with major action on South Pearl Street -- including a very involved deal that calls for the Wynkoop/Breckenridge group that had owned Pearl Street Grill to swap that space at 1477 South Pearl with Izakaya Den, at 1518 South Pearl, one of three restaurants in the eating empire that brothers Yasu and Toshi Kizaki had created on the block. Make that two restaurants: The brothers closed Ototo, their newest spot at 1501 South Pearl, at the start of this month.

The Pearl Street deal will allow them not only to move Izakaya next door to the flagship Sushi Den, at 1487 South Pearl, but also to do some renovation/expansion there. Pearl Street closed on New Year's Eve, but Izakaya will remain open until the space next to Sushi Den is built out and the restaurant can move. A press release sent early this morning expands on those plans.

"We look forward to working with Roth Sheppard Architects," says Toshi Kizaki regarding that release. "Plans are still preliminary and likely to change; however, the location will maintain the spirit of Izakaya Den in both design and menu."

Here's the full release:


Downtown Denver-based architecture firm to oversee remodel and expansion of one of the most highly rated Sushi and Japanese restaurants in the United States

DENVER, Colorado--January 31, 2012--Roth Sheppard Architects, the Denver-based award-winning AIA-Denver and AIA-Colorado '2010 Firm of the Year' and the Denver Business Journal '2011 Power Book' winner [architecture category] known for designing some of Colorado's most popular restaurants, fast-casual eateries and retail spaces in the Western U.S., today announced that the firm has been chosen by one of the nation's premier sushi and Japanese dining establishments to remodel its existing kitchen/back of house and design a completely new restaurant which will adjoin Sushi Den's existing space to the north.

Identified by Zagat as the 'sushi capital of Denver,' the popular Sushi Den has been a Colorado culinary hot spot for 27 years. The project will more than double the restaurant's existing space to a total of 10,000 square feet, and the adjacent space -- currently occupied by the Pearl Street Grill -- will be demolished and replaced by a two-story building. The new space will be connected to Sushi Den through an expanded 'shared-use' kitchen and back-of-house functions, but will function as a aesthetically distinct, separate restaurant with its own unique identity and name. The new restaurant will also enhance the Sushi Den's modernist feel and feature Japanese cuisine with a sake bar, sushi bar, tearooms and a substantial outdoor dining area. The new venue's interior will be designed around a dramatic, curved stairway -- flanked by a bamboo garden -- leading patrons to the second story dining area.

"It is a great honor to have been selected by Toshi to help him fulfill his expanded vision for Sushi Den," states Jeffrey Sheppard, AIA, design principal at Roth Sheppard Architects. "His original dream of creating one of the top sushi restaurants in the world, and our passionate commitment to raising the bar in modern restaurant design, makes this opportunity an exciting one for everyone involved. The process has begun and it's clear that this will be yet another remarkable culinary icon for the Kizaki brothers."

Sushi Den, located at 1487 South Pearl Street, originally opened in 1985 as the manifestation of the owners' dream of creating one of the top sushi restaurants in the world. As restaurateurs who believe in continually raising the bar, brothers Toshi and Yasu Kizaki have been honored to host numerous international dignitaries, including the emperor of Japan, several sitting and former prime ministers of Japan, and formal G7 Summit head-of-state dinners. "The king of Denver's sushi scene," according to Frommer's Travel Guides, serves sushi in addition to global and fusion cuisine, vegetarian, gluten-free and traditional dishes. The owners grow their own pesticide-free vegetables on their six-and-a-half acre farm in Brighton, Colorado. They are also building an energy-efficient greenhouse.

This project is presently in the design phase and is scheduled for completion in late 2012.

And in the meantime, the Wynkoop/Breckenridge group will be working on the concept for the Izakaya space.

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