Sushi Guru closes its doors after less than two years in Plaza Midwood

Sushi Guru closes its doors after less than two years in Plaza Midwood
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After less than two years of business in Plaza Midwood, Sushi Guru has closed its doors indefinitely. Its newly constructed building is being sold.

The restaurant at 1217 The Plaza, next to Whiskey Warehouse, often had a patio packed with diners. Sushi Guru established itself as a restaurant with a chic vibe and craft cocktails in a neighborhood that once was known as anything but chic. Its menu was extensive and included sushi, ramen, skewers, meats, and poke bowls.

But it was only open for dinner. The neighborhood isn’t filled with offices and walkable residences like South End and other booming areas are, so Sushi Guru’s owners didn’t do lunch.

Dan DiMicco became a regular at Sushi Guru’s SouthPark restaurant when he was the CEO of Nucor, a steel-producing company headquartered near that location. Dimicco liked the Sushi Guru brand so much he invested in it when its owners, Cy Santos and Rico Garcia, told him they were looking to build a second location. 

“It’s tough to have a restaurant that just runs at night,” DiMicco told the Agenda.

He referred other questions about the closure to the restaurant’s owners, who could not be reached. 

“We regret to inform that we will be closed until further notice,” a sign on the building’s front door reads. The restaurant’s voicemail greeting says the same thing. Its social media handles didn’t mention anything about the closure, which was first reported by Unpretentious Palate.

Sushi Guru in Plaza Midwood

Sushi Guru has been on the market for a few months, according to Josh Beaver of The Nichols Company, the firm selling the property. It is under contract, and the deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

Santos and Garcia bought the Sushi Guru property for $800,000 in October 2015, property records show. The two ran into years of construction delays before opening in spring 2018.

The two-story building opens onto The Plaza with two large glass garage doors. It has dining on both levels, a full bar upstairs, and seven car lifts in its parking lot. Santos told the Charlotte Business Journal in 2018 that the Plaza Midwood location would serve as a prototype for franchising in the future.

“The restaurant business is tough. (Santos and Garcia) might have been a few years early,” Dimicco said of the changing neighborhood.

Sushi Guru joins a growing list of prominent properties to hit the market or change hands in Plaza Midwood.

The Central Square shopping center, the 12-acre site in the heart of the neighborhood that’s home to tenants like Bistro La Bon and The Roasting Company, went up for sale in September. Aston Properties bought the Dairy Queen property on Central last year. The iconic Dairy Queen is closing this weekend.

The owners of Sweet Lew’s BBQ bought the popular diner Dish last month. Last summer, Asana Partners, the developers behind the Design District in South End, bought a prominent building on Central that was once home to an antique shop.

Sushi Guru in Plaza Midwood

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