Sa-Bai was another instance of the City of Dayton trying to play developer. The space, formerly Chins, then Chins and Elbos, then just Elbos, then empty- was leased to an operator out of Cincinnati at a bargain basement rate.
They took a real long time opening. Of course, if you were Thai 9 right around the corner, you probably weren’t too happy about a government subsidized competitor opening right around the corner.
The “experiment” lasted a little over a year. In December, they had a sign $1 sushi all day. This was from a place that was charging $14 a roll when they opened.
Sa-Bai is bye-bye now. Once again, the taxpayers are left holding the bag. The $1 sushi sign isn’t out, the phone is disconnected, not even a “sorry, thanks for your patronage” sign in the window.
But, don’t worry- over on Brown Street you can get excellent sushi from Fusian, a business started in Cincinnati by three kids from Oakwood. A roll will set you back $7.50, be made in front of your eyes- just the way you like it- and the place is always hopping. And, besides the tax breaks and advantages given to UD and Miller Valentine, no public dollars or breaks flowed into the pockets of team Fusian.
Fusian is one of my favorite places to eat in Dayton- the staff is always friendly, upbeat and cheery. The food is awesome and fresh, and affordable. A hit with UD Students, they just opened a location in Columbus near OSU. Comparisons to Chipotle are inevitable, and it’s even part of their plan to locate near existing Chipotle locations. I’ve known all three of these young men since they were in their teens. You can’t find three nicer guys.
I won’t miss Sa-Bai a bit, but if Fusian left, I’d be devastated.