ALTON - The opening of the Shogun Japanese Steak House in Alton has been much anticipated and residents will be able to taste its delights come Feb. 1.

Tony Liu, one of the family members who own the new Shogun Japanese Steak House, invited RiverBender.com in to see the construction work on Thursday and it is quite elegant, to say the least.

Within another week, carpet should be put down and the renovations should be nearing completion for the Feb. 1 opening. Liu’s family has made this a million-dollar project renovating the old Golden Corral family restaurant to Shogun Japanese Steakhouse at 2723 Corner Court, Alton.

Liu told RiverBender.com he has been flooded with people coming by and e-mailing wanting to know when the restaurant would open and he said it will definitely open to the public on Feb. 1.

“People come by and are so excited,” Liu said. “We have also had a lot of people come by about jobs.”

Liu loves the location on Homer Adams Parkway where the old Golden Corral was once located.

“It is a perfect location,” Liu said. “There is lots of traffic going by all the time.”

Construction for the project started four months ago and it has been non-stop since it started. Liu beamed with pride as he showed some of the work inside the restaurant.

“It is going to look like it is brand new in here,” he said. “We have made a large investment in the business and in Alton. We have all new tiles, marbles, carpet, walls and much more. One of the glasses in here was $4,000. This will be a fashionable location."

Liu anticipates the hibachi and sushi areas will both be extremely popular in Alton because there is no other place like this in the city. Hibachi cooking refers to an open-topped Japanese heating device and consists of a round, cylindrical or box-shaped open-topped container, made from heatproof material. The food will be prepared in grills positioned right inside the main part of the restaurant.

“People will be able to see their food being prepared right in front of them like the other Shogun restaurants,” he said.

The Shogun location will also have a party room available for celebrations, business and family parties and more.

The new Shogun is a family business. Tony Liu’s uncle, Guam, has a considerable amount of restaurant business and he is a guiding force in the expansion to Alton. The family has been involved in this type of restaurant for 20 years in states such as Alabama, Illinois and Missouri, Liu said.

Alton Mayor Brant Walker has been ecstatic about the potential the Shogun restaurant brings to the city. He said he believes Shogun Japanese Steak House will be a destination type of restaurant for people throughout the area and beyond.

“I am so excited about Shogun coming to Alton,” Walker said. “We have a lot of interest throughout the city about the opening of the restaurant.”

Liu expects a total of 20 employees will be hired from chefs to dishwashers.

The Hibachi Chef is extremely important in this type of operation and the business will hire only the best, Liu said.

“Customers will experience a wonderful atmosphere and meanwhile a great meal by our talented chefs,” Liu said. “We will be unique and have fresh food only. Customers will be able to see food prepared and all fresh food right before their eyes.”

The phone number of the new restaurant is 618-468-1111 and e-mail is ourshogun@gmail.com and the website is www.shogunsteakhousealton.com.

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