U.K. sushi concept plans to expand in New York

Wasabi, a fast-casual sushi chain based in London, is planning to open its second New York City restaurant in March 2015, the company told Nation’s Restaurant News.

The concept opened its first New York City location in Times Square in February. The second will open downtown at 7 World Trade Center.

“We’re very, very pleased to have a site in the World Trade Center,” said Wasabi head of facilities Mark Lerego. “It’s a compliment to the gravitas of the company.

The company is also in negotiations to open at Manhattan’s downtown Fulton Street subway station, which is currently under renovation, Lerego said.

Dong Hyun Kim, a South Korean entrepreneur and former accountant for Samsung, founded Wasabi. Kim got his start in restaurants with a fish-and-chip stand in London’s Camden neighborhood. He expanded with stalls offering chicken, Italian food, Japanese food and other items before borrowing money from his sister to open the first Wasabi location in central London.

“Apparently, from day one people were queueing out the door to get the food,” Lerego said.

The chain continued to expand over the next 10 years, and now has 38 locations in the United Kingdom, plus the New York unit.

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