EDWARDSVILLE - For years, Maria Brethauer was the face of Nori’s Sushi in Edwardsville. When Nori closed during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Brethauer decided to continue in the location and has opened the new Seoul Sushi.

Brethauer spoke very highly of the previous owner - Chong Kim - also a self-made business icon in Edwardsville. Kim brought the delightful sushi concept to the Edwardsville area 15 years ago and through Kim, she learned all the components of the business. Now, she is ready to branch out on her own at the 1025 Century Drive location in Edwardsville.

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The present Seoul Sushi phone number for take-out services is (618) 307-5866. Thankfully, under the Nori’s Sushi business concept, the carry-out part of the business was already strong. Brethauer also waits with anticipation for the COVID-19 Pandemic to diminish and things to get back to normal for businesses. But in the meantime, she is working diligently to re-establish the sushi concept at the Edwardsville location.

“I am super excited about this,” Brethauer said. “Without Chong, I wouldn’t have this opportunity. I am forever grateful for what he did for me and I am going to do my best to take advantage of it. I enjoy my job and for 10 years a lot of customers know me by my name or face. I really appreciate and value building those personal relationships with customers.”

Brethauer has redecorated and painted the old Nori’s inside and renovated the bathrooms.

Even as the owner/manager, Brethauer will be out on the floor servicing the customers, her strength.

Nori’s Sushi menu has been kept and some Korean food items have been added.

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“The sushi menu is the same and there are some needed additions to the menu,” she said.

Brethauer is a Korean like Chong. She said they met 20 years ago when she worked with him in her first-ever Japanese restaurant. Chong wanted to retire from the restaurant business and work more toward raising his young child, Brethauer said. “He has a computer degree. Chong also said he would always be there for me and I can call him at any time. He is South Korean and he does have some intention of going back to South Korea. I made a deal with the landlord to take over the location.”

John will be the prime sushi maker, he was with Nori’s in the end, Maria said. She described him as “extremely dedicated” and was trained by Chong in a strict fashion, so the sushi will not change.

For Maria, the restaurant patrons have become like family.

“Nori’s had been there 15 years before it closed in mid-June of this year and I spent 10 years there,” she said. “I have seen a lot of families and kids grow up. I strive to build on personal relationships with customers and know what they like on the menu. There was a lot of customer loyalty to the sushi business. I am excited and can’t wait to keep the same quality that Nori’s established under Chong.”

"Call in take-out only right now. Online ordering & delivery coming soon! Normal hours start Wednesday from 11-2 & 5-9. (Fri. & Sat. 5-10; Sun. 4:30-8)."

"I can't wait to see everybody!!!, said Maria.

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