Sushi Hiro has undergone a rapid renovation these last few months under the guidance of the team at Revolutionary Eating Ventures (REV). The owners of Taco Boy, Poe’s, and Monza partnered with owner Hideya Ishibashi to update and modernize the old Sushi Hiro, one of downtown Charleston’s very first sushi restaurants.

Karalee Nielsen of REV tells us they haven’t changed much as far as the layout goes, but they’ve updated finishes and added a dining area in the back, close to the kitchen, where they’ll be cooking up kushiyaki (grilled foods).

The brand-new Japanese grill is being installed today. By tomorrow evening (Tuesday, June 26), they expect to be open for dinner and serving up a limited menu of ramen, kushiyaki, tempura, and sushi.

When it comes to sushi, REV has been working with Ishibashi to improve the offerings as much as possible. “It’s the same sushi menu,” says Nielsen, “but we’ve stepped up the seafood program substantially, working with a couple different fishermen to buy from the docks to have seasonal, local stuff and improve the quality of what we were serving before.”

Nielsen is confident their ramen will be the best in town. “We found a ramen factory in San Francisco that is sending us fresh, custom-made noodles every day,” she says. “I think people will be able to tell the difference.”

General Manager Jacob Fuhr, who’s got extensive fine dining experience, has been working on the cocktail program, which is anchored by nine drinking vinegars. Nielsen says they are a tantalizing mix of sour and sweet in flavors like red pear, peach, cherry, and pineapple. They can be drunk sans alcohol with a splash of soda, or they can be used as the base for any number of creative cocktails. They are currently only serving beer, wine, sake, and shochu.

For the first few months, Izakaya Hiro will be open only for dinner. After this Sunday, a day they’ll be closed so their staff can catch their breath, the restaurant will be open daily. Expect to see them add lunch hours in the coming months and expect to see one other fun element — karaoke. Nielsen says that’s on her agenda for tomorrow: get working on a karaoke room.

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