Hibachi Sushi Buffet has signed a 5-year lease for the 10,000 square foot building that has been unoccupied since 2008. The family-run business recently began interior renovations and will complete exterior changes in the coming months, with plans to have a sign up in six weeks.
“This family has been in business for over 20 years,” said Kathy Dennis with The Shopping Center Group, a retail services company that facilitated the lease. “They use only fresh ingredients and offer a regular menu or a buffet with lots of options. They have a good track record, and I think everyone will be happy with them.”
A new restaurant in the prominent Budsy’s building, which sits in the Walmart parking lot and borders the state highway, will “definitely be a plus for retail,” Dennis said. The Shopping Center Group, based in Birmingham, has marketed the building for the past 11 months after having taken over from a real estate company and is also proposing a U.S. 280 shopping center for Sylacauga. A contract for the development is currently in negotiations. “As we’ve heard from the City Council, we need restaurants, and this is just one more thing feeding the new development we hope to do.”
With other locations in Auburn, Cullman and Jasper, Hibachi found Sylacauga attractive because of the location and potential. “I did an inventory of the market, and there aren’t many restaurants who take a 10,000 square foot building,” Dennis said. “I’ve done so many Asian restaurants, and I realized that would be a good option. We actually had two offers on the table at the same time, and the landlord did their homework and felt like this was the best operator.”
Hibachi is “spending quite a large amount of money” on renovations and is planning to be here well past its initial 5-year lease, she said.
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