A big fish in the world’s sushi scene is bringing its authentic Japanese concept to San Antonio, and it’s promising to hook local diners on its innovative revolving bar, tech-forward ordering options, and quirky prize machine.
Kura Sushi, the interactive Japanese restaurant concept established in 2008 as an offshoot of 45-year-old Japan-based Kura Corporation, is rolling into the Alamo Quarry Market at 255 E. Basse Rd., suite 384, opening Wednesday, February 16.
The new location will be its first in the San Antonio market, though Kura Sushi boasts eight other restaurants in Texas and 35 in the U.S. Altogether, the company has more than 500 restaurants across Japan, Taiwan, and the United States.
Kura Sushi features more than 140 menu offerings (many priced at only $2.90) and specializes in savory, authentic Japanese dishes made with “natural, premium ingredients free of artificial sweeteners, seasonings, preservatives, and colorings.” But it’s likely Kura’s novel approach to the sushi dining experience that will lure San Antonians.
Key to that experience is Kura’s revolving sushi bar and express belt. The revolving sushi bar snakes through the dining area with plates of sushi for diners to ogle and consider devouring. And there are no worries about freshness, as each dish is protected by Kura’s patented Mr. Fresh ventilated sushi lid, which limits airborne exposure and has plate-tracking technology that monitors how long each item has been circulating. It’s all aimed at ensuring customers’ food is always fresh and at the peak of deliciousness when it transitions from conveyor belt to table.
Additionally, Kura’s express belt, known as the “sushi highway,” is positioned above the primary revolving belt and offers diners the option of ordering from a touch panel at their table. Food is then delivered directly from the kitchen along the sushi highway.
Further tapping technology to create the best sushi dining experience, Kura also has an app that makes it easy for guests to view live wait times and join the restaurant’s waitlist remotely. The app also gives diners the chance to earn rewards, with every $50 spent scoring sushi diehards a $5 coupon.
And speaking of rewards, Kura Sushi will certainly reel in some new local fans with its Bikkura Pon Prize System, which the company notes is an integral part of the overall interactive dining experience at Kura.
The system is comprised of a prize machine, touch panel, and plate disposal slot — connected via sensors — located at every table in the restaurant. The touch panel registers the number of green and red plates dispensed through the plate disposal slot. After every five plates ordered, a short animation plays on the touch panel for guests, and after every 15 plates, sushi diners are awarded a prize that’s dispensed from the prize machine.
Kura collaborates with popular Japanese and Japanese-inspired brands to develop various prizes, and also develops original Kura Sushi prizes, so diners can be rewarded with a variety of prizes like lanyards, chopsticks, badge reels, keycaps, and acrylic chains.
As part of Kura’s collaboration with the Sanrio brand, San Antonio guests will receive a Hello Kitty and Friends x Kura Sushi Bikkura Pon prize for every 15 green or red plates purchased.
And in honor of its grand opening in San Antonio, Kura Sushi will host a two-day celebration and giveaway event on Wednesday, February 16 and Thursday, February 17. Each day, the first 100 dine-in guests will receive a cute sushi towel (similar to a kitchen towel but resembling sushi when rolled up).
Upon opening, Kura Sushi’s regular business hours will be Sunday through Thursday 11:30 am-9:30 pm and Friday and Saturday 11:30 am-10 pm.