CLAYTON, Mo. — A local restaurant chain is switching spots in Clayton.
Wasabi Sushi Bar will move into Centene Corp.'s Clayton campus later this fall.
The St. Louis-based restaurant chain will take over Tani Sushi Bistro's former home, at 7726 Forsyth Blvd., and close its existing Clayton location, at 16 S. Central Ave., to accommodate the move. The new, larger location — Centene's space is roughly 4,600 square feet compared with 1,600 square feet at the old restaurant — will offer outdoor dining, takeout and delivery while indoor dining is closed during COVID-19.
About 30 employees will be hired for the new location (the restaurant typically hires 20). Wasabi is targeting an Oct. 1 opening date, said owner John Kim.
Meanwhile, Wasabi has shuttered its Warson Woods restaurant, 9983 Manchester Ave., after deciding not to renew the lease. Instead, the chain will focus on its Kirkwood location, at 312 S. Kirkwood Road, that's about 3 miles south, Kim said.
And work is continuing on Wasabi's new location at the Cortex tech district. The restaurant is partnering with Midas Hospitality on Wasabi@Cortex, which will open next to the Midas' Aloft Hotel at 4245 Duncan Ave. That opening is slated for early December.
"I'm grateful for the opportunities ... to allow us to grow even with COVID-19 challenges," Kim said. "Without our customers, we wouldn't have anything."
Spiegelglass Construction is doing the build-out at the new Clayton location and Cortex. Big Rush Marketing is behind the in-store signage, and Sysco will be the food supplier.
Mike Pettit of Location CRE represented Wasabi in its lease at Centene.
Wasabi Sushi Bar's other locations are in Edwardsville, Fairview Heights, Town & Country and St. Charles.