ASHLAND – A new Japanese restaurant is coming to Ashland – with a twist.
Edamame Hibachi and Sushi Wings at 1159 E. Main St., the former BBQ Belly Busters which closed in June 2020, will open soon, although due to shortages of equipment and furnishings in the supply chain, a date has not yet been set.
This will be Edamame’s third location, with the first two in London and Troy, Ohio and a fourth location in Lancaster coming in 2022.
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Owners Eric Budiasa and Rona Simarmata searched for a new location for a year and Ashland became the perfect place for the married couple. The couple have long dreamed of having their own business.
“It was very welcoming,” Budiasa said. “Everyone we work with has been responsive.”
Budiasa and Simarmata want to continue to expand, hoping to open six to eight locations later this year.
Asked about the stress of opening restaurants during a pandemic, Budiasa and Simarmata take it head on.
“It’s kind of like God’s plan,” Budiasa said.
Since arriving in Ashland in late November, Budiasa and Simarmata have received a positive reception from the community and other businesses, and have joined the Ashland Region Chamber of Commerce.
“They’re going to be a great addition to the community,” said COO Amy Daubenspeck.
Why chicken wings?
The idea of including chicken wings in their hibachi and sushi restaurants came when Budiasa and Simarmata wanted their restaurant to have a modern twist that other sushi and hibachi restaurants did not offer. It was their own identity.
In addition to the wings, you’ll have seven sauces to choose from and plenty of sushi options, including Philadelphia, Avocado, Cucumber, and California rolls.
Unlike typical hibachi restaurants with a large cooking surface surrounded by chairs and tables, Edamame will prepare food in the kitchen, Budiasa said.
Edamame will seat about 40 to 50 people, and Budiasa and Simarmata want to expand seating with an outdoor patio during the summer with local musicians performing outside, they said.
Until Edamame officially opens in Ashland, Budiasa and Simarmata will continue to focus on their expansion plans across Ohio.
“It’s difficult,” Budiasa said. “We were lucky to have two other locations [that’re] we do well. … We just let it grow.
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This article originally appeared on Ashland Times Gazette: Japanese restaurant Edamame Hibachi Wings and Sushi is coming to Ashland