After two years in business, Yokozuna Teriyaki's downtown location at 276 N. Eighth St. is shutting its doors. Yokozuna's departure from the Eighth Street storefront follows causal banh mi joint Baguette Deli and Coldstone Creamery. The restaurant's other two locations on Vista and Fairview avenues are unaffected by the closure. Meanwhile, another local concept is hoping to make a go of it in the space.
Owners Anne-Marie and Michael Trebbi signed papers to take over the site last week and plan to open Wild Root Cafe and Market no later than mid-October.
"The concept itself will be breakfast and lunch and we are going to be focusing on organic, local, sustainable, good-for-you food," said Michael, a professional chef who worked in Chicago for most of his career.
Michael described the menu as "modern American" or "American craft," and said Wild Root will offer "recognizable favorites with some twists" in a counter service environment.
"It'll be an open space, an open kitchen," said Michael. "It'll be quick-service style. Order at the counter and basically pick it up and you can take it to your table."
In addition to the cafe, Wild Root also plans to house a small gourmet market featuring house-made and locally sourced products.
"A lot of the from-scratch items that we're using—it might be house-made ricotta that's used in a Tuscan strata—we'll take that ricotta and package it and offer it in open-air coolers for purchase," said Michael.
Wild Root is also talking with a number of local farmers and producers and plans to offer them a place to sell their products on site. The cafe will also serve beer and wine from local purveyors and will be open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays. For more info, visit facebook.com/wildrootcafe.
In other opening news, Grit American Cuisine recently announced plans to open at 360 S. Eagle Road in the Albertson's strip mall. Spearheaded by Porterhouse Market's Dave Faulk and former 10 Barrel Chef Paul Faucher, the restaurant will serve a hodgepodge of American eats, sourced locally and regionally.
"Our menu will have the likes of French and Cajun flavors from New Orleans," wrote Faulk in an online newsletter. "An influence of Asian and Hispanic communities will come from Los Angeles and San Francisco. New York City will share some of its Jewish deli influence, and the Italian culture will certainly land in our 700-degree pizza oven."
Faulk noted that Grit will also focus on house-made charcuterie, "like our own bacon, ham, pastrami, salami, prosciutto and a variety of sausages that will come smoking out of our new smokehouse."
Grit will serve craft wine and beer and its walls will be adorned with murals by local artist Luke Schafer. The restaurant plans to serve lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, brunch and dinner on Saturday, and brunch on Sunday. No opening date has been announced. For more info, visit facebook.com/gritcuisine.