Sukiyaki House resurrected in city
Good news for sushi lovers — Anna Kwong has reopened Sukiyaki House. It first welcomed customers back in 1976 when there were few Japanese restaurants in town, at its original location in Gaslight Square just to the west of 4th Street along 10th Avenue S.W.
Kwong began work there as the accountant in 1991, looking after it and four of its other restaurants that included Kyoto 17.
When the owner retired in 2003, she bought Sukiyaki House, only to have the lease terminated in 2006 to make way for the new development that is now the big hole in the ground.
With the help of Garry Holbrook, partner at Leaseco Realty Advisors, Kwong has been on the lookout for the perfect spot to open up again and believes she has found it on the ground floor of Penn West Plaza.
The location will be great — once construction is completed on the two towers at the corner of 9th Avenue and 1st Street S.W.
Penn West staff have certainly found it. When the new Bankers Court opens directly across the street, there will be another 15 storeys of office workers eager to try Kwong’s fine establishment.
The new Sukiyaki House has been reincarnated into a much trendier space than Kwong’s previous eatery, a fine example of the creative skills of Parchoma & Jones Design. It really fits its downtown address with a clean, modern interior that, in its 2,300 square feet, boasts a 23-foot sushi bar that seats 13 people.
But the food offered by four of her former chefs and two new chefs from Japan is still prepared in the traditional Japanese style, but with a western-style presentation.
DeMille Books has been a vital Calgary institution since it was founded by Evelyn DeMille back in 1956.
The technical book operation was sold to McNally Robinson and relocated into its attractive Stephen Avenue bookstore, but when that was closed last year, we were in danger of losing a city treasure.
Engineer Charlie Perry, a regular customer since the early 1980s, tried to convince others to reopen it. There were no takers, so he met with Paul McNally for advice. After a ton of encouragement and inspiration from Evelyn Perry, Charlie invested in his own bookstore and DeMille Books is flourishing again.
He opened in the Herald annex building at 207 6th Ave. S.W. and, thanks to his volunteer involvement with Immigrant Services Calgary, has been able to hire staff with technical savvy.
The manager of his store is Cindy Chen, who has a degree in electrical/mechanical engineering from Beijing, and both part-time staff are also engineers.
Perry still has a day job as a consulting pipeline engineer but spends a lot of time in his new store.
It’s hard to keep up with all the things Gordon Hoffman is involved in, but top of mind today for the Calgary lawyer is the production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at Theatre Calgary.
Hoffman is chairman of the Enviros Wilderness Foundation and is using the May 7 performance as the organization’s eighth annual gala event to support the agency.
Sukiyaki House owner Anna Kwong recently reopened in a new location at 297 9th Ave. S.W.