Japanese restaurant Sushi Koji opens doors in Vienna

Sushi Koji is now open and serving up roll platters alongside bowls of ramen and udon noodles.

Run by former Sushi Taro chef Hyung Joon Lee and his wife, Grace Park, the Japanese restaurant had a soft opening at 262 Cedar Lane on Thursday (Dec. 16). It is the first of three eateries slated to move into Vienna’s Cedar Park Shopping Center this winter.

“We were so excited to open and see many people try out our food,” Park said by email. “We are getting a lot of positive comments about the food and new types of dishes they haven’t seen before. It has been packed since the first day of opening which was unexpected and also so exciting/heart pounding.”

Park says the opening has been a success so far, even though Sushi Koji is facing the same hiring challenges that have been affecting the food service industry nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With some of the hired employees still undergoing training and getting accustomed to their roles, the staffing shortage is expected to become a bigger issue once the restaurant gets cleared to serve alcohol, which could happen as soon as this week, according to Park.

Sushi Koji has been waiting for a license to allow wine and beer service on its premises since Nov. 3, according to the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority. A mixed-beverage license has been pending since Nov. 9.

Park says they are particularly looking for additional wait staff and chefs or cooks.

While the restaurant initially opened just for dine-in customers, Park confirmed that patrons can now get takeout and deliveries as well.

The current hours of operation are:

  • Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-9:30 p.m.
  • Friday: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-10:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: noon-10:30 p.m.
  • Sunday: noon-9:30 p.m.

Sushi Koji anticipates having a more official grand opening at some point, but a date for that hasn’t been scheduled yet.

“Since we are still training staff and looking for more staff, we won’t have the grand opening anytime soon until they are fully trained,” Park said. “We want to make sure we give good service and people leave happy.”

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