Masu to Fill Former Soul Daddy Space at MOA

The new Japanese restaurant, which opened its first location in Northeast Minneapolis last year, plans to open its second location at the Mall of America.

Masu Sushi & Robata, a relatively new player in the Twin Cities dining scene, has plans to open a second location-in the Mall of America.

Mpls.St.Paul magazine reports that Masu plans to take over the former Soul Daddy location in the mall.

The Soul Daddy restaurant concept opened three locations after receiving investments as a prize for winning NBC's reality show America's Next Great Restaurant last year-but it closed all three after being open for barely more than eight weeks.

Masu, meanwhile, opened its flagship restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis last year.

According to Mpls.St.Paul, Minneapolis-based design firm Shea will keep the “urban Tokyo vibe” of the original location when opening the new restaurant at the Bloomington megamall, which is slated to open in early spring of 2012.

Stephen Hesse is the restaurant's head chef, but lauded local chef Tim McKee continues to consult for Masu, according to Mpls.St.Paul. McKee, owner and executive chef of La Belle Vie, was recently selected by Twin Cities Business as one of “200 Minnesotans You Should Know.” Read more here.