Kru, the popular midtown Japanese restaurant and sushi bar, is relocating to the former Andiamo Restaurant & Bar site in East Sacramento, joining a new Selland family venture already committed to the site.
“There will be Selland on one side, Kru on the other,” said Barbara Mikacich, whose family has owned the 11,000-square-foot Andiamo location at 3145 Folsom Blvd. since 1989.
She said Wednesday that Kru officials still need to sign a few documents but “it’s all fine.” Both eateries could be open by year’s end following completion of tenant improvements, which include adding a wall to separate the two dining ventures.
Selland Family Restaurants, which owns Ella, The Kitchen and Selland’s Market Café, announced in February it was opening an Italian restaurant, called OBO’ Italian, at the East Sacramento location that most recently was a Good Eats restaurant and market.
That business closed in August of 2011. Andiamo operated there from 1990 to 2006. Before that, for 45 years, it was the site of the Rosemount Grill.
Kru, which is known for its innovative modern Japanese fare and its often long lines to get in, has been seeking a larger site for some time.
The current location will remain open but have a different focus that’s still being worked out, said Jonathan Modrow, a Sacramento restaurateur who will be joining Kru’s owners in the new venture.
Modrow and his partner, Kimio Bazett, who run midtown’s Hook & Ladder restaurant, will be in charge of Kru’s bar program, which will feature Japanese sake and shochu drinks as well as classic American whiskeys and other drinks.
“Kru is our favorite sushi place, so we were honored to come on board,” Modrow said.
He said Kru’s owners were eager to move to a larger space as a way to speed up service.
“They’ve had a 45-minute to one-hour wait there, and long table turns because the kitchen could not keep up with orders,” he said. “This will be designed specifically so they can do their craft and elegant plating and still execute in an efficient manner.”
Kru’s owner and chef Billy Ngo is in Japan this week and could not be reached for comment.
Modrow said the new space will be designed by Whitney Johnson, who worked on the interiors of Hook & Ladder, Shady Lady and Bottle & Barlow, the combination bar and barbershop set to open on R Street later this year.
Randall Selland, head of the Selland family operation, said he’s pleased to have Kru as his new neighbor.
Ngo, he said, started off his career at Selland’s Kitchen after graduating from culinary school and “he’s been friends of our family forever.”
Kru, he added, is “one of the best places in town, but the knock was always that it took so long to eat” because of the lines.
The new location should help with that, he said.
When he signed a lease for half the space, Selland was asked by the building’s owners to suggest a possible second tenant. “We said, ‘You need to talk with Billy at Kru.’”
Call The Bee’s Bob Shallit, (916) 321-1017.