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Sushi: Japanese for "that's not bait!"

by katie eldridge

The wild rumors are true. There's another sushi bar in Park City. However, the owners of the newest fish-rice-rolling establishment will try to convince you that The Happy Sumo is not just another sushi place. Instead, they say it will be "the place" for sushi. Located at the town lift, in the building previously occupied by The Smokehouse, The Happy Sumo caters to walk-in as well as take-out customers. The owners want to give customers the option of frying their brains on wasabi and indulging in green muscles in the privacy of their own homes, if they so desire.

If you're a sushi-lover, chances are you'll recognize the entire Happy Sumo staff. The restaurant has come to life thanks to the work of dozens of local restaurant workers, managers, and a group of tight-knit friends.

Rulen Jorgensen is one of those people. He has lived in Park City for 10 years and has managed several restaurants including Zoom and Lakota.

"We've all been in the restaurant business, and we know how to do it right. This gives us a chance to work for ourselves and give people better service."

The Happy Sumo's menu features Japanese entrees and appetizers, as well as sushi. The Sumo also offers several premium sakes, wines, hard liquor and beer (both Japanese and domestic).

Unlike other sushi bars in town, The Happy Sumo has a bar where patrons can sit and order beverages if they have to wait for a table. The sushi bar itself seats 16 customers comfortably. There are also 13 tables seating 52 customers.

Tim Eggers is another local, working partner who is in charge of the bartending duties.

"We're going to have Deer Valley service, with Park City-locals fun." Eggers adds that regular customers will be able to have their own set of chopsticks, and that the restaurant will never close early, so people can depend on them to be open late.

The Happy Sumo opened quietly the first week of July. Jorgensen says he wanted to get up and running before creating a lot of fan-fare. That hoopla will come with the grand opening which has yet to be announced. He says the band Caroline's Spine will play at the event, and that there will be local specials that evening in celebration of the new restaurant.

Does Park City need another sushi bar? Heck, why not? Let's face it - the customer will be the winner. Because competition raises the stakes, and in the restaurant business that translates into better service and (in this case) better sushi all around.

For more info, call 649-5522