The wait is over. If you’re a raw fish person you’ve now got a place in Kent to eat to your heart’s delight or the extent of your stomach’s distension whichever comes first. A couple of City staffers did their civic duty today and taste tested the suishi. The report came back in flying colors.
Any doubts on the popularity of a suishi menu was put to rest long before the new restaurant even opened. Comments had been appearing on Main Street Kent’s web site with increasing regularity (and near hostility) wanting to know when the suishi restaurant was going to open. And even today there was a line out the door at various times as devotees of suisha made the pilgrammage to this new Kent mecca.
I haven’t had a chance to meet the owner yet but the Record Courier had posted some great information about his new business a couple of months back and I thought it was worth re-printing here for those curious about Kent’s newest business. Enjoy!
Record Courier Article by David Dix, September 27, 2009
Dancing Beta, a Japanese sushi bar, will soon open in Acorn Alley, the exciting pedestrian thoroughfare that businessman and philanthropist Ron Burbick has created as part of his Phoenix Block development on East Main Street.
At grand opening celebrations Friday evening, Ron, with his wife, Joan, and an assortment of Kent dignitaries looking on, cut the ribbon for Acorn Alley before a crowd of about 600 well-wishers.
If Friday’s results were any indication, that sushi bar is going to be a big draw for Acorn Alley. Paul Geldhof, owner and operator of Dancing Beta, came prepared to serve 700 and was completely out of sushi 30 minutes before the party’s end.
“My first 400 servings were gone within 20 minutes,” Paul said.
All of the foods served up by the food outlets on Acorn Alley at Friday’s grand opening were free. Nevertheless, Paul said he was surprised and pleased to see sushi “going like hot cakes.”
A Portage County native who attended schools in Kent and Rootstown, graduating from Rootstown High School, Paul Geldhof is a graduate of the Culinary Arts School of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He and his wife, Katie, who’s a professional graphic artist, will be hands-on at Dancing Beta, he said. Now in his mid-20s, Paul describes himself as having been in the restaurant industry since he was 15, when he started helping his parents manage the kitchen of the Stowaway Pub at the intersection of Graham and Fishcreek roads in Stow.
A Japanese specialty, sushi is vinegar rice served with various toppings, the best known of which is raw fish. It’s become fashionable among the well traveled set. More importantly for Dancing Beta, sushi is “in” with the college crowd, whose trade downtown Kent wants to attract.
Paul said his restaurant will have limited seating for up to about 24 people. That’s because sushi bars mostly cater to the carryout business. Kinds of sushi on the menu will be crab rolls, avocado rolls, California rolls and more. In addition to fish, nutritious vegetables are mixed into the rolls.
Paul said he decided on sushi because it was a food in which he excelled at the Culinary Arts School. “My father introduced me to sushi when I was about 7,” he said.
For now, he’ll serve soft drinks, soda and bottled water. He has applied for a beer and wine license. When it comes through, he’ll sell sake, which is a Japanese rice wine, and assorted beers and wines.
Paul said the addition of sushi will add to the cultural diversity of food in Kent, and I agree. Friday evening, his grandfather, Alex Geldhof and his wife, Liz, were on hand for the grand opening. Paul said he was pleased to see his grandfather and friends sampling the sushi.
“I knew it would go over with the younger crowd and was really pleased to see older people enjoying it, too,” he said.