I got some of the best news on Wednesday! Out of the blue, I read on the Nashville Scene and the Tennessean that SAMS SUSHI IS COMING BACK!!!
Let me explain...
Sam's Sushi was owned by Sam Katakura and it was a teeny tiny sushi restaurant in Printer's Alley:
I was a regular here for lunch because I worked in Downtown Nashville for 4 years of when Sam's was open. For 15 years, Sam's had a loyal following- for many reasons. First of all, Sam's sushi rolls were unlike anything you had ever EVER seen. Ever! The rolls only cost about $2.50, and just 2 rolls would fill up an entire to-go box. HUGE!
Biggest sushi rolls ever... and for $2.50 each???
And the style of the rolls were super unique:
This is Sam Karakura! I miss this place! Photo credit: www.native.is
Sam was sometimes called by Nashvillians the "Sushi Nazi". People new to Sam's were in for a surprise. Regulars knew that Sam had certain rules in his restaurant:
1. DO NOT TIP! Don't tip him! Just pay for your food and leave.
2. For a while, it was cash only. Credit cards were frowned upon.
3. You were to come into the teeny tiny restaurant and take a seat. Do not speak to Sam unless you are spoken to. Or else!
4. Do not bother Sam while he is making the sushi. If he wants to speak to you, he will.
You could always tell who had been to Sam's before and who hadn't, because people either seemed used to it, or they would look a little bewildered/ nervous.
We all loved Sam's and were were SHOCKED when it was announced that Sam's Sushi was closing his doors in April, 2014. The building on 4th and Church Street went under new ownership, so the tenants were asked to leave.
Sam told the Tennessean that his plans were to move back to Japan where he grew up (but not to retire). He said that he had been making sushi here for 15 years and "I don't want to die here." He suggested that people now go to Ken's Sushi on Division Street for sushi meals.
So with that, a sign was placed in the window. People sadly searched for other places to get their sushi fix. Sam was back in Japan. Right?
Wrong! According to the Tennessean this week, instead, he stayed in Nashville, and showed up one day this summer looking for work as a line cook in the kitchen of the new Acme Feed and Seed on Broadway. Sam was soon recognized, and after a few talks with Acme's owner, Tom Morales and chef Matt Farley, they proposed a deal for Sam. They gave him a corner of the 2nd floor to serve sushi in Acme!
The new sushi bar will seat around 20 people and it's hours are between 5-10 p.m. I called Acme yesterday and they confirmed that this is the first week that Sam is serving sushi in their restaurant. They said the menu would be eventually posted on their website.
Above are photos of Sam's sushi rolls at Acme! They were posted on Acme's instagram: @acmenashville.
The rolls look a little different than Sam's signature rolls, but they look delicious! I had been hearing about Acme for a while, but now I really can't wait to make it over there! Thanks for staying in Music City, Sam. We've missed you!!!!!!
Acme's website is here. Readers, did you ever try Sam's sushi? Have you been to Acme yet? Let me know what you think! Happy Friday!