UPDATE: The Rant has learned that a former employee of Umami – not the owner of the former Sanford location – is the person opening the new hibachi-slash-sushi restaurant in the old Pizza Inn location. This post has been updated to reflect that.

It’s been tough to get decent sushi in Sanford since 2011, when a tornado wiped Umami – the only joint in town where you could get rolls (and other sushi-delivery vehicles like boxes and bowls) seven days a week – off the map.

IMG_2376That may all be about to change. A sign in the window at the now-closed Pizza Inn location on South Horner Boulevard (click to enlarge) indicates that a hibachi and sushi restaurant by the name of Oishii will be opening soon.

Reports indicate the new restaurant will be owned by a former employee of Umami, which re-opened in Burlington, N.C. following the tornado. The opening date has not been verified.

In the weeks and months following the tornado, Pelayo made attempts to find a suitable location to re-open the Umami location, including a spot in downtown Sanford. Although none of those locations panned out, the return to Sanford by a former employee of Pelayo’s is likely to be met with a “better late than never” attitude given the popularity it amassed in its time here.

Pelayo’s sushi had also been available at times at local Piggly Wiggly stores.

Here’s hoping the new restaurant will be as good as fans of Pelayo’s venture had come to expect.