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The owners of Fugu, an Asian fusion restaurant near campus, and Takumi by East Towne Mall are opening Waunakee's first sushi restaurant this summer. 

The owners of Takumi, a Japanese restaurant near East Towne Mall, and Fugu, an Asian fusion place near campus, are opening Waunakee's first and only sushi restaurant this summer. 

The new restaurant, located at 107 Baker St. where Brian's on Baker used to be, is set to open in July or August. There is no official name yet, but plans include a large sushi bar, an open kitchen serving hibachi and enough space for wedding receptions in the restaurant's two floors and 6,000 square feet. 

Husband-and-wife team Amanda Chen and Evan Ni opened Takara on State Street in 2001, adding a location near Westgate Mall in 2004. These have since been sold to Ni's brother and sister, leaving Chan and Ni to open Takumi near East Towne Mall in 2007 and Fugu two years later. 

Another small location of Takumi in Sun Prairie closed two years ago because it was "hard to arrange people to work over there," Ni said. 

Chen manages both Takumi and Fugu; Ni will take charge of the Waunakee expansion. In Waunakee, there will be a head chef making Szechuan cuisine as well as a sushi chef, Chen said.

"A lot of people come to Fugu for Asian fusion (and say we) must have sushi," Chen said. "But Takara on State Street is our family."

Ni's own construction company, Sage Point Construction, has been handling the renovation. The plan is to rent the basement (where Brian's was located) to a different tenant. 

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Food editor and arts writer Lindsay Christians has been writing for the Cap Times since 2008. She hosts the food podcast The Corner Table and runs a program for student theater critics. Member @AFJEats and @ATCA. She/ her/ hers.