David Wong is the general manager of Sakura Chaya, which should open next month at Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis. Photos by Edward Smith

published on April 12, 2019 - 4:01 PM
Written by Edward Smith

Get your reservations soon, as these upcoming restaurateurs aren’t stopping with the first course. Below are owners’ and managers’ best predictions of when you might see your favorite restaurant’s newest locations in Fresno and the Central Valley.


Kabab City

You don’t have to go far to notice a string of these Mediterranean restaurants popping up. Owner Abdullah Qawadri is opening three more locations for Kabab City. One will be on Fresno’s Figarden Drive, along the Bullard Loop, another at Nees and First avenues near Sakura Chaya and the third in Downtown Visalia near Starbucks.

These new restaurants will join current locations in Reedley, Hanford and Fowler. The first one opened in Fowler in 2013.

“The market is really good these days,” Qawadri said. “When you have an opportunity to open, you don’t just miss it.”

As suggested by the name, Kabab City serves Mediterranean food with appetizers, sandwiches and wraps. Everything is made in-house, Qawadri said, but the difference is in the spices. The spices are all “authentic” and the spicy chicken is perfect for people who want a little kick, he said.

All meals come with rice pilaf and fatoush salad.

Qawadri expects an opening sometime this year for all three locations.


Sakura Chaya

Construction began last year on what will be Sierra Vista Mall’s first Japanese restaurant. The 8,000 square foot sushi and teppanyaki restaurant will have 15 teppanyaki tables in addition to a sushi bar, dining area and private teppanyaki room. There are a lot of similarities between the one in Sierra Vista Mall and the original one at Nees Avenue and First Street, said General Manager David Wong. Hand-carved wooden panels highlight the sushi bar. Cherry blossom artwork adorns walls.

The addition to Sierra Vista Mall excites Wong. “It’s a beautiful location with lots of new growth,” he said.

Those looking for Japanese cuisine while touring the mall can expect a May opening.


The sushi restaurant in north Fresno near the Trader Joe’s and Sportsman’s Warehouse is expecting an opening in the next 30 days, according to a representative from Zinkin Development, which owns the Park Crossing Shopping Center. The owners of Nami also own Little Fat Dumpling, which advertises itself as “Chinese comfort food” on its website. Little Fat Dumpling operates on the same corner in the shopping center. Another location is also planned for the Tower District in the former Happy Star Chinese Restaurant on Palm Avenue, according to a December article in The Fresno Bee.

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