Last year greater Tempe lost a classic in the food and bar industry. Rula Bula, a local Irish pub, shut its doors after two decades in business due to their lease unexpectedly not being renewed. Since then, the space has sat vacant. At least until now.
Julian Wright is moving in and bringing with him a new restaurant called Sake Haus. This will be one of two new Sake Haus restaurants Wright has planned, as another is going up in downtown Phoenix.
The Japanese-style restaurant will receive a complete renovation, including a different exterior and large windows, to make it feel like a traditional Japanese sushi restaurant. In the official description on the restaurant’s website, it will have a “Tokyo street vibe.”
The concept of the restaurant is not new. The original restaurant in Phoenix was supposed to open at the end of 2020. However, due to the COVID pandemic, food shortages, and staffing issues, the official opening was pushed back until spring of this year.
If the name Julian Wright sounds familiar, it is because he’s been around the Tempe and metro Phoenix restaurant business for some time now. His most popular restaurant includes the Pedal Haus Brewery. He has also had a number of restaurants close shop over the past several years, including locations like Fifth Street Bar, La Bocca Pizzeria + Wine Bar, plus Gringo Star Street Bar, just to name a few.
Sake Haus will take up only a small portion of the former Rula Bula pub, and while there will be two other concept restaurants destined to move into the location, Julian Wright has not officially announced what these concepts will be.
As the restaurant moves closer to opening, official hours will be made available. So, for the time being, the best way to follow up on Sake Haus is to follow the restaurant’s Instagram account. This will update information on both the downtown Phoenix and the Tempe destinations.
The menu does feature a number of classic rolls, in addition to unique, in-house rolls. Some options include the Tuna Tataki, Salmon Skin Handrolls, Hon Maguro, Shima AI, and a Taka-Machi Roll. However, the menu will likely change over time, as the restaurant is looking to hire an expert sushi maker (so if you’re interested, visit the website to apply).
For anyone in the Tempe or downtown Phoenix areas who are craving a Japanese punk-rock vibe to go along with their sushi, the restaurants will be opening in the coming months.