To the joy of many, a new food experience had its grand opening this week at 1406 Kinneys Ln., in the former Hatti Beasley’s location. The restaurant is Fuzion Grill Burger and Sushi House, the second restaurant by owners Tonya and Martin Miranda. The duo has successfully operated Sonora Mexican Grill for two years now, and has decided to expand not only Sonora with a new redevelopment of the location, but with an entirely new business in the form of Fuzion.
“It was just the right time,” explained Tonya Miranda. “Our good friend Rudi, who is also from Sonora, Mexico, used to be a chef of Mexican sushi. When he prepared some for us, Martin said we just had to offer it to the public. When the owner of the building we have Fuzion in approached us about possibly opening something in it, even offering to work with us to make it happen, we made the move.”
The friend Miranda mentioned is Rodolfo Angulo, chef and manager of Fuzion, husband of Karen Perla.
Miranda explained that Sonora was a slow start in its early days, because it was unexplored territory for many, and there were other Mexican food options that many were already familiar with.
“I think once people tried Sonora, they were very surprised and they liked that we work in a small restaurant with staff that is friendly,” Miranda said. “Most customers even greet us by name when they come in and that is a nice feeling of trust and friendship.”
Despite picking up a loyal crowd of regulars, and always expanding to new guests, Miranda explained they are always thinking of ways to improve services and grow into something even better.
“It appears that people want something more authentic and true,” Miranda explained. “We are focusing on switching the menu up more and more, until we have a truly authentic experience, unlike anything else in the area.”
Another reason the Mirandas claim they’ve been blessed with great customers is due to their outreach and community projects. They’ve met many of their returning customers through benefits they hold for families, communities, and missions— both independently and with Life Point Church. In fact, most of their staff members are those who sit in the pews at Life Point.
The two said that their crowd of regulars is a wonderful thanks to their work, because they have always viewed business as an opportunity for locals to give back to those who support them and to make a difference.
The Mirandas say that they will be running Fuzion the same way they have with Sonora, since they’ve been blessed with humble success in their practices.
According to the owners’ description, Fuzion is a “culinary blend of Japanese and Latin Gastronomy,” with an “exotic and explosive taste with special unconventional unique sushi rolls and burgers.”
“We want Fuzion to be a place where locals and visitors can come and relax in a casual dining environment, have a nice dinner with friends, and not worry about being dressed a certain way, because a lot of sushi establishments are like that,” Miranda explained. “We are a friendly and casual people and we wanted the same for our guests.”
The restaurant focuses on homemade burgers and sushi, both with individual, unique spins, including toppings of bacon and eggs, crab, avocado, chili and more.
“Mexican Sushi is definitely different from traditional, but it also welcomes many new people who appreciate this new form of sushi,” Miranda said. “It is still sushi with Nori seaweed and Japanese rice, but it includes a Mexican twist of jalapeno, avocado, beef, steak, breaded shrimp, cream cheese, and more.”
Miranda explained that even the word sushi can be a barrier for some, so she hoped to focus just as much on burgers, so that the menu was fair for anyone who walked in the doors.
“Not everyone likes sushi, but most people like burgers. We like what we have with Fuzion and it allows those who like sushi to have a place to eat, with something just as good for friends and family they bring with them”
Miranda said that she and her husband even went out of their way to speak to friends and people of the community to design the menu and have the flavors that people want most, some of which are exact burgers requested by community members.
“Local businesses give a community its character. Cities across the world have chain restaurants, but the family-owned restaurant down the street, where you have lunch or dinner, is a one-of-a-kind,” Miranda explained. “We are also lucky, because we are able to meet and get to know people on a more personal level, giving us the opportunity to do fundraising events and to bring our community closer together.”
Fuzion is at 1406 Kinneys Lane and can be reached at 740.353.1777. They are open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Joseph Pratt is a contributing writer for the Portsmouth Daily Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org