Wild Poke Is Now Wolverine Sushi
With an all-you-can offer
by Micheline Maynard
From the September, 2020 issue
Brian Kung is no stranger to the restaurant business. His parents owned local Chinese places including Champion House and Emerald City, where he helped out as a youngster.
But he emphatically did not want a culinary career. "I always told them I would never, ever, ever open my own business," Kung recalls.
After attending Grand Valley State University, he sold commercial real estate but eventually reconsidered his career path as he looked at business opportunities across Ann Arbor.
Now, Kung, who is from Saline, is one of three partners in Wolverine Sushi Bar, the restaurant on the ground floor of the Foundry Lofts apartments on E. Huron.
The other owners are Li An Yu, who has owned and operated restaurants in Toledo for more than twenty years, and Shawn Reinhart (no relation to the realty family), a friend who offers advice and help.
Wolverine Sushi opened July 17 as a replacement for Wild Poke, which Kung and his partners launched in August 2018.
They had hoped to open a year sooner, which would have made them the first poke eatery in Ann Arbor. But the project was delayed, and other places beat them to the market.
In January, the partners began searching for a different approach, and hit on sushi. They first added sushi rolls, then decided to experiment by selling tickets to all-you-can-eat sushi nights. "It really started to take off," Kung says.
The final sushi event sold out before the restaurant was forced to close in March by Covid-19 restrictions. Kung says the enthusiastic response convinced the partners to focus on sushi, at what they feel is a reasonable price for the often pricey cuisine.
Wolverine features an all-you-can-eat sushi offer, which costs $24 at lunch and $29 at dinner.
Customers choose from specific lists of appetizers, sushi rolls, and individual pieces of sushi, which come two to an order. Sashimi is not included.
While there's no maximum on how much people can eat, there's a two-hour time limit for
The menu also includes a selection of bowls like those offered by the previous Wild Poke. Kung says the average ticket is about $35 to $40, including drinks--he's emphasizing the restaurant's selection of Japanese beers and whiskeys.
Wolverine Sushi is working with ten different delivery companies, Kung says, and while it doesn't do huge amounts of to-go business, the extra orders have been important as Wolverine builds its restaurant clientele.
"We were able to find a way to make a little money to survive in this climate," Kung says.
Wolverine Sushi Bar, 413 E. Huron, Suite C. (734) 780-7171. Sun.-Thurs. noon-10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. noon-11 p.m. wolverinesushibar.com
[Originally published in September, 2020.]
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