You might drive past it a few times, swear at your GPS and pray to St. Anthony, but once you step into the month-old Oh! Sushi, you'll find a hip retro place of funky fusion. The colors are intense pink, white and black and most tables are filled with what looks like a repeat crowd, some on laptops buzzing to their earbuds' sounds, others ordering with no menu needed.
On the back wall is what looks like a corner section of a Japanese market with a range of products from soy sauce to kids coloring books to fish flakes and fish kites.
Felipe Del Valle is the Willy Wonka of Oh! Sushi. Back in Spain in 2004, Felipe started his business called Create-A-Restaurant.
"Spanish and Japanese food are similar as rice and fish are both widely used."
But the Spanish people were hesitant to accept raw fish, so Felipe incorporated Spanish elements like chorizo and tortilla in the menu.
"Step by step within the first year the people wanted to try new things. They began to appreciate the Japanese gastronomic culture as the menu evolved."
Felipe's team: his wife Veronica Silva, who finds suppliers, products and selections; her father, Aristides Silva, who spent seventeen years as vice president and creative director in the Latin American sector for advertising mogul Leo Burnett and now is marketing and advertising director at Create a Restaurant; and Eloy Contreras, who trains the kitchen staff and instructs cooks how to prepare dishes and is the operations manager of the business. But, Felipe says modestly with a side of confidence, "I'm the decision maker."
"If you wanted to create another Oh! Sushi, say in Fort Lauderdale, we would charge $70,000. This includes everything (besides a permit;) from advertisements to creating a menu and a website, promoting it on social media, and opening the restaurant with you, as well as training all of the staff. We even stay with you until two weeks after you open to make sure you're comfortable and ready for your new business.
With upward of 15 sushi bars in Madrid and Oh! Sushi in Miami, Felipe and his team have much to celebrate. "We're seeing blue numbers - we turned a profit in just the first month of opening!"
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SHOW ME HOW
A fully functioning presentation store, Oh! Sushi offers creative dishes and eye-catching accessories. So say a prayer to St. Anthony and go see what all the fuss is about.