Ichiban Sushi & Hibachi should be open at 133 S. Steele St. sometime in mid-November.

An independently owned sushi and hibachi restaurant will open in downtown Sanford sometime in November, according to one of the owners.

Signage is now up for Ichiban Sushi & Hibachi at the former Cooper’s location, 133 S. Steele St., and owner Susan Wang said she hopes to be open by mid-November. The space has been empty since mid-2020, when Cooper’s closed permanently. The space was previously home to the Steele Pig, and before that, Bella Bistro.

Wang has also been an owner of Ichiban Bistro in Chocowinity, North Carolina for the past seven years. Wang said the Sanford location will most likely be operated on a regular basis by her partner, Stacy Guan.

“We wanted to find a city that was close to Raleigh,” Wang said of the decision to open a second Ichiban location in Sanford.