Guy Fieri's downtown Santa Rosa outpost Tex Wasabi's will reopen in May, more than 18 months after a ruptured pipe closed it down.
Reconstruction of the "Rock and Roll Sushi-Barbecue" restaurant is nearing completion, said Fieri spokesman Brett Hutchison.
The Fourth Street restaurant closed in September 2009 after a faulty sewer pipe ruptured, causing severe water damage. As crews began repairs on the old building, more damage and repairs were needed. "When you start pulling things away, they found out how bad it was, and we wanted to do this the right way," Hutchison said.
Earlier this month, another major Fourth Street restaurant reopened when La Rosa Tequileria and Grille replaced longtime Mexican restaurant Cantina after several months of renovations.
The new owners, who operated a successful sister Cantina restaurant in Aspen, gave the restaurant a decor facelift and updated the menu after plans to convert the 9,000-square-foot business into a Carlos Santana-themed restaurant fell through.
Fieri is shooting for an early May debut. Keeping the "Far East meets Wild West" theme, familiar dishes are expected to stay on the menu, but with a bit more reserve.
Hutchison said the layout and slightly consolidated menu will be more family-friendly to compete with other nearby restaurants. "The bar won't be the first thing you see when you walk in," he said.
An upstairs mezzanine will have seating for 50, along with its own bar. The restaurant recently got final approval for limited outdoor seating.
Tex Wasabi's is one of five restaurants operated by Fieri's restaurant group, including a Tex Wasabi's in Sacramento and three Johnny Garlic's restaurants in Santa Rosa, Windsor and Roseville. A new Johnny Garlic's is slated to open in Dublin in June.
(Heather Irwin is food and dining blogger for The Press Democrat at BiteClubEats.com.)