The crazy thing is the orange-bathed casual chic Japanese / Brazilian / Peruvian restaurant not only sold its 22 millionth piece of sushi, they also just sold their 600,000th caipirinha. That’s a lot of knife swipes. That’s a truckload of cachaça. If each piece of sushi stretches 2 inches, that’s 630 decadent miles of fish & rice & wasabi.
How do we know this? We asked them. And it turns out that between individual pieces of sushi sold, combined with cutting each roll into 8 pieces, their computer systems churned out these mindboggling statistics. Who knew that looking past the inlaid floors channeling Ipanema Beach, the Mondrian-esque stained glass, and orbs mimicking sea turtle eggs, lurked such volume.
This is important stuff. In a town where the average life expectancy of a restaurant is about a year, and success and failure is typically measured in how many kiloliters of salty tears pour down investors’ wailing faces for betting on half-baked resto-dreamers, SUSHISAMBA’S 18-year winning streak is a deliciously abnormal outcome.
But the bummer is upon us – the restaurant is apparently closing on December 22nd due to skyrocketing rent, rumored to be over $100,000 a month. But the Samba crew is apparently going out with a bang with a closing party, so when details emerge, we’ll post about that later.
It’s goodbye to a trailblazer. After opening in 2001 on Pennsylvania Avenue & Lincoln Road’s terrific people-watching corner (after the “identifying as non-binary” / dragtastic eatery Lucky Cheng’s closed), SUSHISAMBA plugged a DJ booth into the sushi bar, turned up the volume with samba, rumba and housey bossa nova, and started churning out seriously delicious sushi and caipirinhas for brunch, lunch, dinner, and late night happy hours. They also have a shockingly sophisticated kids menu. And if you love SUSHISAMBA Lincoln Road like MiMi does, after it closes you can always fly away to sister restaurants in Las Vegas, Amsterdam and two locations in London.