By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
You may have recently traveled through Fair Haven’s main drag and wondered: What’s going on behind those plywood walls and scaffolding?
Jeremy Poon says he’s asked that question just about every day.
Poon, who co-owns No. 1 Chinese Restaurant next door to the site, which was home to Bayshore Charlie’s fishery for about two decades, says people are curious and excited to find out just what’s happening in the square brick building at 603 River Road.
So, what does he tell people?
Poon and his sister, Anna Yeung, seized an opportunity presented by the recent retirement of the fishery’s owners, and are now in the midst of a complete overhaul of the building to bring a new style of cuisine to Fair Haven.
It’s to be called Sansu Japanese Steakhouse, and will offer, aside from the choice cuts, a variety of traditional Japanese fare, including sushi and hibachi, Poon tells redbankgreen.
Aside from the provincial differences, Poon said Sansu will be a step or two up from what No. 1 Chinese has been offering for 20 years.
“We don’t want people to see it, really, as take-out, because it’s not,” he said. “It’s not super upscale, but (it’s going) to fit this neighborhood with a decent restaurant.”
He’s talking about a sushi bar, hibachi station, elegant interior design still in the works, he said a new brick facade, large front room windows and an authentic Japanese menu created and plated by an authentic Japanese chef.
That’s in the works, too.
Poon said he’s negotiating with a “very, very good chef to come join us.” Meantime, the gut job and redesign are going to eat up the rest of the summer, at least. He and Yeung are taking their time with the project to make sure it’s done right, he said.
“We really want this to be a decent restaurant,” he said. “It’s going to be really top-notch quality, and the price is going to be fair.”
Word on the street is that people are embracing the idea, and waiting for the doors to open, Poon said.
“We already have a lot of people stopping in and asking us what’s going on,” he said. “People walking by, they’re all excited.”