Today at 4pm, head to the corner of Wells and Schiller to celebrate Marion Konishi, founder of Kamehachi, as she is given an honorary street dedication (sadly, since the rededication is only temporary, we won’t be changing our official listing to say that Kamehachi is located at 1400 Marion Konishi Way).
The late Konishi earned her street name by opening what is widely acknowledged to be Chicago’s first sushi bar:
Marion Konishi opened Chicago’s first sushi restaurant, Kamehachi in 1967. Located on Wells Street, in a neighborhood populated by hippies and folksy-type people, Kamehachi was an anomaly: a traditional Japanese restaurant serving items not yet popular nor familiar to Americans. As the years passed, Chicagoans interest in sushi began to increase and Kamehachi became one of the city’s most popular restaurants. Its enviable location across the street from The Second City also aided the popularity of the restaurant when stars such as John Belushi, Dan Akroyd and Carrie Fisher would frequent the restaurant mixing in seamlessly with the local clientele.
[Photo: A party tray from Kamehachi, via their official site]