DINING

Restaurant news: T. Sushi on State Street undergoes 'internal restructuring'

2013-01-03T07:00:00Z 2013-01-03T10:03:28Z Restaurant news: T. Sushi on State Street undergoes 'internal restructuring'SAMARA KALK DERBY | Wisconsin State Journal | skalk@madison.com | 608-252-6439 madison.com

T. Sushi on State Street closed for a few days in early December to regroup, bolster its image and undergo what one manager there calls “an internal restructuring.”

Its phone was also temporarily disconnected around the holidays after a bill wasn’t paid. The owner, Teddy Stevens, was only made aware of it after a call from a reporter.

“We’re still working on things, but I think we’ve gotten our management team a little more organized and solidified,” said Sarah Ries, one of the restaurant’s managers. “We’ve changed our staff a little bit, and we’re just trying to run our business in a different way than it was run before.”

Ries acknowledged unfavorable reviews on Yelp and said the restaurant hired the user-review website to come in and “do a reassessment” for them.

“We’ve been as open as possible to trying to understand what we have done wrong and what we can do better,” she said. “With new businesses it’s always difficult, but I really think for us it has come down to needing to reorganize our management and restructure our staffing, using the people that we have to the best of their abilities.”

Ries said T. Sushi has a lot of talented people, including managers, wait staff, and chefs, but added that “everybody needed a little bit more direction.”

A few staff members including a bar manager were let go, other staff were fired and rehired and given “better defined roles and job descriptions,” she said. “I’d like to say that we are under new management, but we’ve kept the majority of the people that were here.”

T. Sushi will possibly be closed for a couple of days this week to install a grill system so it can also serve hot food, another manager said.

The restaurant considers itself in a soft reopening phase and intends to have a grand reopening in mid-January, Ries said.

Ries said the restaurant is working on a new lunch menu. Head chef Andrew Cloney, who was brought in nearly from the start, was formerly at Sushi Muromoto.

“I think that our food is fantastic. And it really is,” Ries said. “I think one thing that was lacking was consistency. You can’t run a business if you are not organized, if you are not communicating, and if you don’t have a clear vision.”

Bonfyre hopes to reopen today after fire

Bonfyre American Grille, 2601 W. Beltline Highway, was expected to reopen today after an exhaust system fire Dec. 29 caused an estimated $100,000 in damages.

“We are diligently working with all of our vendors to make all necessary repairs and it is our goal to reopen as soon as possible,” said General Manager Patrick Quinlan. “The silver lining is that everyone is safe.”

No other businesses in the building were affected.

The restaurant was closed at the time of the fire, just after 10:30 a.m., but employees were in the restaurant preparing food.

State Street Gino’s is freshening up

Gino’s Italian Restaurant, 540 State St., which will celebrate 50 years in business this year, is getting a facelift. The restaurant closed Christmas Eve and is reopening at 4 p.m. Jan. 17.

“Just a bit of painting and refreshing the interior,” said owner Gino Gargano’s wife, Stella, adding that she didn’t want to elaborate. “I want people to be surprised when they come in.”

The restaurant underwent a four-month, quarter-million-dollar remodeling project that was completed in 2001. It opened up the entryway, made it wheelchair accessible, and added a bar in front.

Gargano started Gino’s across the street in 1963 and moved to the present location a few years later.

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