Castro’s Japanese Sushi Bar is now open in the former Nash Hot Chicken & Ramen

After a quick renovation and a change of concept, Niji Japanese Sushi & Bar opened its doors at 3970 17th Street (near Castro).

Niji soft-opened last week at the former Nash Hot Chicken & Ramen which closed last month after just five months at the Castro.

Restaurant owners Arron Lai and John Li kept much of the interior, but added a fresh coat of paint, new decorations, and sushi bar seating.

Niji Japanese Sushi & Bar is now open at 3970 17th St. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

Lai told Hoodline that after operating Nash Hot Chicken five months ago, he determined customers wanted a healthier food option.

Menu options include a selection of sushi rolls, nigiri, maki sushi, donburi and temaki. Drink options include draft and bottled beer, wine, and sake.

Niji’s opening comes the same week as Chinese restaurant Dumpling Kitchen (544 Castro St.) opened in the former Papi Rico space, and news has it that Salvadoran restaurant Los Amigos (2295 Market St.) will resume the former Republic of Castro and Baghdad. Coffee area.


Photos: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

Since the dining space was added in 2009 when upstairs nightclub The Cafe expanded, 3970 17th Street has seen significant business.

Tucked away on 17th Street in Jane Warner Plaza, the ground floor retail space has always struggled to attract foot traffic.

The original occupant Pica Pica Maize Kitchen opened in 2013 and only lasted nine months. New Manos replacement closed in 2016 after less than two years; it was replaced by Thai restaurant Me & Tasty, which opened in 2017 and closed less than five years later, and then Nash Hot Chicken & Ramen moved in.

About James K. Bonnette

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