Restaurant News & Reviews

Celebrated sushi restaurant will join The Dillon

O-Ku Sushi is open in The Dillon in downtown Raleigh.
O-Ku Sushi is open in The Dillon in downtown Raleigh.

A celebrated sushi house with roots in Charleston, S.C., is the latest restaurant to attach itself to The Dillon.

O-Ku Sushi announced Monday it would build its fourth location in the 18-story Dillon building, expected to open this summer in downtown Raleigh. O-Ku first opened in Charleston and later added locations in Atlanta and Charlotte. Owned by the Indigo Road Hospitality Group, it was named by Esquire Magazine as a top 20 new restaurant in 2010 and one of the best sushi restaurants in America by Travel + Leisure in 2013.

“O-Ku Sushi will be a wonderful addition to our restaurant offerings,” said John Kane, CEO of Kane Realty Corp., the Dillon’s owner, in a release. “Indigo Road offers top service and incredible food and beverages throughout its group of exciting, destination restaurants. With their successful ventures in other great cities like Charleston and Atlanta, we are certain they will do well in this location.”

Menus from the other O-Ku Sushi spots show a broad offering of traditional and creative rolls, as well as an omakase option and a menu of other Asian dishes, like steamed buns, dumplings and noodles. Indigo Road Hospitality Group said it sources fish from Norway, Scotland, Haiwaii and New Zealand, as well as from local waters.

“As a longtime fan of the city of Raleigh, I’ve been continuously impressed by its vibrant food scene,” said Steve Palmer, managing partner of Indigo Road, which also owns restaurants in Columbia, S.C., and Nashville. “I’m excited to join this inspiring community through O-Ku and bring the hospitality that the Indigo Road is known for.”

Palmer is the co-founder of Ben’s Friends, a support group for those in the food and hospitality industry struggling with addiction. Raleigh Chef Scott Crawford, owner of Crawford and Son, is friends with Palmer and started a chapter here last year.

As The Dillon moves closer to its opening date, Kane Realty Corp. has made a number of major tenant announcements, including the new location of local grocer Weaver Street Market and the first brick and mortar of local coffee and tea shop Heirloom Brewshop. It’s also brought some major outside chains to downtown Raleigh, including Urban Outfitters and Barcelona Wine Bar.

Drew Jackson; 919-829-4707; @jdrewjackson