It goes without saying that when you're getting a masters in interior design, the decor of your new restaurant is all on you.
"I painted some of the walls with chalkboard paint so my design friends could go crazy," says Violet Lee, owner and manager of the new Tempe eatery, Grilled Ave Teriyaki House, (she did the logo, too) and student at ASU. "And I'd like to get some local art up on the walls."
On South Forest Avenue (South Forest Avenue and East 7th Street), former home of the Gyros Hut, Lee will run Grilled Ave with her mom, who is also runs Sushi Ave, the popular traditional and fusion sushi joint in Gilbert.
"She used to own a restaurant in Korea for twenty years," says Lee, "and she makes really good kimchi, so we'll be serving that along with teriyaki and sushi."
Set to open on Monday, August 15, Lee tells me what will make Grilled Ave so good and why she's answering the phone at three in the morning.
"My mom makes a special teriyaki sauce," Lee says. "It's made with fruit and tastes different from other places. Plus, the food will be affordable for students -- the sushi will be cheaper than my mom's place in Gilbert."
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Lee says she's nervous, excited, and a little scared about running her own restaurant. Even when she was hiring, she had a sign taped to the restaurant window saying, "Can call anytime, even 3 in the morning."
"I go to bed pretty late," she says. "But I need to change my number now. People are still calling."
Grilled Ave Teriyaki House
705 South Forest Road, Tempe