A new Japanese and Thai fusion restaurant aims to be a relaxing refuge for young professionals in Charleston.
Su-Tei, which will feature Asian Cuisine focusing on sushi, Thai food and Japanese cuisine, is set to open in Kanawha City by the end of September.
"There really isn't a fancy restaurant in this area," manager Andri Purwanto, 37, said. "There are lots of young professionals, and we wanted to give them a restaurant where they can hang out, relax and have great food."
Purwanto is originally from Indonesia and has managed five New York City restaurants. But he found the bustling city of more than 8 million people to be too busy and he had too much competition.
He slowed down and moved to the Beckley area, where he managed Kimono Japanese Restaurant. When he discovered that the largest city in West Virginia could use an upscale restaurant that targeted 20- to 30-year-olds, he wanted to make his mark on the town.
The design of Su-Tei - which bears the name of a portmanteau between "sushi" and "Thai" - is inspired by those fine-dining restaurants in New York.
The former Blockbuster building has had an entire transformation during the past six months, as Purwanto labored seven days a week to get it running.
With dark espresso-colored wood and white leather, high-back seating, the interior features modern fixtures in a comfortable environment. Smooth, clean lines give the inside a modern feel, and Asian decor accents the space.
Large windows let in ample light, and beneath the exposed beams is a lounge area covered with pillows, a full bar, a running waterfall, a party room and a sushi bar.