The Star in Frisco is getting its first and only sushi restaurant early next month, but its rolls aren’t the only thing that will set it apart in Jerry Jones’ new entertainment, sports district and Dallas Cowboys’ world headquarters. Sushi Marquee is inspired by Japanese cuisine, one specific Los Angeles dive bar and over-the-top pop culture of the ‘80s and ‘90s.
It’s the newest spot from restaurant group Crafted Bar Concepts, which is behind restaurants and bars like Shell Shack, Back 9 and Shakertins. The idea came from restaurateur Brad Hawkins, a Dallas native who previously lived in Los Angeles. Hawkins loved the way that entertainment and dining were paired together in L.A. — and was inspired by one place in particular.
“One of the little dive sushi bars that I loved going to in North Hollywood, it was a shotgun room, maybe 1,500-square-feet, but when you went in there everybody’s having a good time,” he tells PaperCity. “The sushi chefs are getting into it, the music was playing louder than it normally would at any restaurant, and they’re dancing along, singing and they’re interacting with the crowd.”
Unfortunately, the restaurant failed to deliver on another front.
“It was so much fun, but the unfortunate part is that it was some of the worst sushi I’ve ever had,” Hawkins laughs.
Nearly 20 years after the idea first popped into his head, Hawkins is finally getting his dream sushi spot: somewhere that offers good food and a memorable experience.
The 3,000-square-foot space boasts cheeky decor, like a mural of Yoda with chopsticks by local artist Aaron Grace, geisha eyes peeking out from the bar and a 6-foot-tall disco ball Buddha.
(On a side note, it will be interesting to see whether Sushi Marquee will receive the same type of criticism for cultural appropriation as Uptown’s recently-closed Hot Joy.)
Above the sushi bar, a mosaic of TV screens will throw it back with classic bits of ‘80s and ‘90s film and pop culture.
The menu was crafted by notable local chef, Patrick Stark and executive sushi chef Gabriel Reyes, who previously got experience at Ra Sushi, Jinbeh and Bluefish. Options include classic and specialty sushi rolls, sashimi, build-your-own poke bowls, shareable platters and cooked entrees.
Unsurprisingly, the beverage program will take a playful approach to cocktails. Drinks like the Watermelon Ginger Margarita, Liquid Nitrogen Frozen Sake and Wasabi Mariachi will feature house-made bitters and tonics, flavored ice cubes and over-the-top presentations.
Sushi Marquee is getting settled into a 3,000-square-foot space at The Star in Frisco,complete with a 3,000-square-foot patio.
The restaurant is opening with bar service for a Christmas tree lighting on Friday, and should be open for dinner within two to three weeks. Lunch service should come a few weeks later, and there are plans to add brunch in the near future.