The seeds for Miku Sushi were sown years ago when Stanley Liem met his future wife, Nuchsara Katekaew, while the two worked at Tank Sushi.
Since then, Liem (a former Tank waiter) and Katekaew (Tank's general manager who sometimes goes by "Sara") have gone on to open Inari Sushi in suburban Elmwood Park and Sala Bua Thai restaurant in Chinatown. Liem left Tank in 2011 to start his own restaurants, while Katekaew remained until 2013.
The plan is to bring back "upscale sushi" inside the Tank space at 4515 N. Lincoln Ave., Lieb said. Miku Sushi could open Jan. 10 or Jan. 17. The space has been gutted and renovated since the Laughing Bird's exit in September. Tank closed in March, while the Laughing Bird opened in May. That offered Liem and Katekaew an opportunity since they knew the building's landlord. When Miku opens, it will be BYO while management waits for their liquor license for their full bar.
About 95 percent of the menu will be new, though Tank regulars will recognize a few items. Liem's favorite dish is the signature foie gras roll: "It's not like the traditional French foie gras kind of dish, it's more of a Japanese-style dish and we'll mix it all with ingredients made in house."
There's seating for 80, including the bar, and Miku — which means "lasting beauty" — will serve lunch and dinner and be open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
"We feel like our dishes — on top of made with high-end ingredients and tasting good — will have a very good presentation," Liem said. "It's all going to look very nice."
UPDATE: This story has been changed with the correct spelling of Stanley Liem's last name.