New Manayunk Sushi Place to Debut Soon

Chabaa Thai owner tries hand at another Main Street eatery.

Moon Krapugthong is doubling down on Manayunk again. Already the owner of and the former Asian fusion spot , the restaurateur now will bet on sushi.

Planned for 4255 Main St., Yanako Sushi will vie for Japanese food enthusiasts' affection with . The question is when.

When Mango Moon closed in April 2011, press accounts indicated a sushi place would open by that Mother's Day. Zoning and building issues with that property and other projects pushed it back.

The recent plan had it slated for February, but Krapugthong says the renovations and paperwork are still in the process at the former location of The Closet.

"We have some internal work that still needs to be done. Hopefully, being optimistic, it will be about a month-and-a-half," she said.

Krapugthong herself is annoyed with the loose timeframe, but mid-March to late April is best-case scenario at this point.

"I hate to put a sign out that says 'Coming soon,' and people keep passing it wondering, 'When's soon?'" she said.

After closing Mango Moon, Krapugthong tried to expand Chabaa Thai into 4371 Main St., which was approved by the Manayunk Neighborhood Council. After a dispute with then-building managers Belvedere Business Group (which owns , and other businesses), plans stalled. In December, the group vacated the building following a lawsuit, paving the way for a potential Chabaa expansion, according to the MNC.

In the meantime, Krapugthong has received neighborhood support for her Japanese restaurant efforts. She agreed to the , limiting late hours, cover charges, live music and other factors.

The MNC approved a 49-seat BYOB in December. Renowned sushi chef Harry Ige-San, who was a  at Mango Moon, will man the kitchen.



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