Downtown Cincinnati's newest dining option will join the trendy Backstage District this fall when Mr. Sushi opens along 6th Street in the 580 Building. The upscale sushi cafe will seat 80 to 90 guests and feature a sushi bar within the recently renovated space.
The restaurant owner has said that Mr. Sushi will be open for lunch and dinner, and will remain open into the late night on weekends to accommodate the crowds leaving nearby bars and nightclubs.
Mr. Sushi is one of a number of recent announcements for the Backstage District. Bootsy's and Righteous Room have recently joined Nada, Nicholson's, Cadillac Ranch, and Trattoria Roma Ristorante. The opening comes after the recent news of the closing of the upscale seafood restaurant, Oceanaire following the announcement it would close following filing for bankruptcy.
The district has also seen new streetscaping added along the 600 block of Walnut Street where the popular, crowd-drawing Contemporary Arts Center and Aronoff Center for Performing Arts are located.
Even with Mr. Sushi and other rumored tenants for the renovated 580 Building spaces the Backstage District is not complete. 3CDC announced recently that it is working on the former Maisonette location across the street where it hopes to attract "several" tenants along with some new residential.
As progress unfolds some say there is still a missing component to the Backstage District. While 3CDC and other leasing agents work to promote the entertainment district and draw comparisons to other like districts the missing component may be the street life.
Cincinnat's Backstage District is set up with several alleys, some of which are neatly manicured and decorated with light fixtures and art. The problem is that there is no activity there, and some say an open container district would solve that.
More bars, restaurants, nightclubs and people seem inevitable for this area of Downtown. How this space will be managed and promoted is still up in the air. Mr. Sushi will certainly add to the neighborhood, but the Backstage District is still growing to become a concentrated entertainment district.
Writer: Randy A. SimesPhotography by Scott Beseler