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Mall rats can start guessing which new retailer will move into the kiosk in River Park Square vacated by Godiva Chocolate.
Bob Smith, the guy who manages the RPS, told us talks have nearly concluded with a retailer expected to take over that spot, on the main floor of the downtown Spokane mall.
Godiva closed down on Monday after operating in that spot for 10 years. Most RPS leases run 10 years.
Smith, who works for Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review, said the new tenant fits a category currently “underrepresented” by other retailers in RPS.
What could that be? Probably not food. Clothing? Only if one thinks niche apparel.
Smith said the decision to refresh the kiosk operators follows a regular review of customer wants and wishes. Customers are apparently telling the management they don't want chocolate as much as something else they want.
Smith added that total sales at the kiosks is another factor for review. RPS collects a portion of monthly or quarterly sales as part of the lease agreement.
Once we know who's going in, we'll announce it.
Sushi Maru, a kaiten-style sushi restaurant, opens its doors on Friday in the former spot of Sawtooth Grill in River Park Square. Kaiten restaurants use conveyor belts with foods on plates that pass by diners’ tables. Diners pull off the items they want.
Sushi Maru is run by Paul Choi, a Bellevue owner of a number of kaiten restaurants in western Washington. Choi has stocked Sushi Maru with an extensive sake bar in the restaurant lounge. It will seat 145, counting lounge and dining area.
Plates are equipped with microchips that keep track of how long they sit on the conveyor belt. After an hour, food items not selected get pulled off, to insure that customers get fresh choices.
Hours are 11 a.m. to close Monday through Saturday, noon to close on Sunday. Disclaimer: River Park Square is owned by Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review.
A raft of new restaurants are spreading across the Inland Northwest.
We’ve spotted about 10 new or expanded locations here and in North Idaho. They include the White House Grill on the South Hill, Savory, Italia Trattoria in Browne’s Addition, Ciao Mambo going into the Lincoln Plaza building downtown, and the Manito Brewing Co. If you know of others, leave a comment here or offer more information.
One interesting new business is the planned Sushi Maru, moving this fall into downtown Spokane. It would be the fourth restaurant operated by Bellevue-based Sushi Maru group. All those places use the kaiten approach to sushi.
Kaiten is the style of serving food in which conveyor belts (or water channels, in some instances) move plates of food past dining tables. Customers grab whatever plate strikes their fancy.
Sushi Maru owner Paul Choi is taking the spot in River Park Square occupied since 2000 by Sawtooth Grill. Disclosure: RPS is run by the Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review.
We left a message for the Sawtooth Grill manager to call us with plans for that business, but haven’t heard yet. Choi said he intends to open Spokane’s first Sushi Maru by Black Friday this fall. Photo here is of Choi’s main restaurant in Bellevue.