Sushi Hayakawa relocating from Buford Highway to West Midtown

Two bentos from Sushi Hayakawa: beef donburi (left) and sake ikura don (right), or salmon with salmon roe. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS

Credit: Henri Hollis

Credit: Henri Hollis

Two bentos from Sushi Hayakawa: beef donburi (left) and sake ikura don (right), or salmon with salmon roe. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS

Longtime Buford Highway sushi restaurant Sushi Hayakawa is relocating and downsizing.

The celebrated eatery, which opened 13 years ago at 5979 Buford Highway, announced the change on its social media accounts.

In the coming months, the restaurant will cease operations on Buford Highway to work on moving to new a new eight-seat sushiya in mixed-use development Star Metals District at 1050 Howell Mill Road in West Midtown. The projected opening period is early 2022.

A representative for the restaurant told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution via email that a relocation has been in the works for several years. The Star Metals development was chosen because “they really care about our commitment to a traditional Japanese dining experience, and they are supporting our vision for the new space,” the representative said.

The development’s proximity to the restaurant’s core customer group was also a factor.

In its new, smaller space, Sushi Hayakawa will continue its focus on omakase.

“While sushi can and is enjoyed in all sorts of formats throughout Japan, something really special happens when you are seated mere inches (or feet as the case may be given the pandemic) from the chef,” the restaurant representative said.

The restaurant made the full-time switch to serving omakase only when it reopened its dining room in March 2021.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Sushi Hayakawa offered curbside meals, though it recently ended its takeout run to focus on in-house dining.

Omakase, the traditional style of sushi service that is similar to a prix-fixe, chef’s choice tasting menu, is “compatible with this new normal,” the restaurant’s management team told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2020.

Chef Atsushi “Art” Hayakawa prepares and delivers the omakase personally to diners at the counter. CONTRIBUTED BY ANDREW THOMAS LEE / SUSHI HAYAKAWA

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Owner Atsushi Hayakawa, a James Beard Award semifinalist and Japanese-born and -trained sushi chef with more than two decades of reputation in Atlanta, closed the Buford Highway location temporarily in 2016 for renovations to make the tables bigger, the seats fewer and the meals longer.

The $350 million Star Metals District includes the Star Metals Residences building and the 267,000 square-foot Star Metals Offices, which also features 40,000 square feet of retail, restaurants and showroom. Star Metals Hotel is set to open in 2023 with an underground speakeasy and botanical rooftop bar.

Other confirmed Star Metals food and beverage tenants include Wagamama, Prevail Roasters coffee shop and roastery, SMR Tap beer and wine bar and dart bar and restaurant Flight Club.

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