Downtown Sandusky's newest restaurant has finally arrived.
Kha Bui is ready to unveil Small City Taphouse after five months of remodeling and planning.
Small City Taphouse will be hosting its grand opening from 3 p.m. - midnight on Saturday.
Calling its opening “Ohio Tap Takeover,” most of the restaurant's 44 taps will be reserved for the best of Ohio's breweries, said Bui, Sandusky's newest restaurateur.
Small City Taphouse is all about the craft beer. Bui, always serious about his beer, installed one of the most expensive, top-of-the-line draft systems.
“My dream is always to open a beer bar. I wanted to bring a big city style bar to Sandusky,” Bui said.
Small City Taphouse does just that, with an elegant, spacious look.
The wide variety of beer available is designed to meet anyone's taste.
The restaurant also offers liquors and wines.
“I mix it up. I have everything,” Bui said.
Streamlined red leather coaches and modern lighting create a sophisticated look enhanced by the glass and metal garage-style doors that will open to bring the outside in.
It is a refined look accented by an old tin ceiling and belt-driven fan system uncovered during the remodeling of the former Cabana Jack's.
ADW Home Improvement, owned by Al Washek, crafted the look that was in Bui's head.
“It was a lot of fun. You hate when you get a project and the owner dictates my budget. Kha just said 'Do it right'," Washek said. "These old buildings just need the people and time to make them beautiful. Anyone coming into the old Cabana Jacks is going to be surprised."
The red coaches demarcate the lounge area of Small City Taphouse where people can be comfortable while drinking a great beer and eating fresh sushi creatively displayed on a simple white plate.
The sushi bar in the left corner sits about 10.
The formal Asian inspired dining area is on the right side of the restaurant, offers a creative use of space that allows about 90 additional people to dine.
Diners at Small City Taphouse will notice the name Chef Henry incorporated into the name of dishes.
Chef Henry is Hoat Nguyen who creates entrees like the crispy whole flounder in ginger sauce.
Tuan Ngo builds the popular lettuce wraps.
There is even a vegan menu with items like flat rice noodle and tofu as well as baby bok choy sauteed with garlic.
Then there is sushi.
Reza Mawardy, who goes fittingly enough by "Razor," has been nicknamed "sushi master" by Bui.
Mawardy has been a sushi chef for 20 years, including stints in New York, Atlanta and Missouri.
His deft hands slice perfectly thin layers of fresh tuna, salmon and crab as he creates sushi rolls like the French Kiss.
“This was just in the waters yesterday,” Mawardy said.
“We have the best sushi menu in town,” Bui said.
So continues the revitalization of downtown, a point of pride for Bui.
Small City Taphouse
202 Columbus Avenue, at Market Street and Columbus Avenue in the former Cabana Jack's.
Hours: Noon to midnight Monday through Sunday
Want to go
3 p.m. - midnight on Saturday, June 28
Live entertainment most of the day starting with Dave & Al