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November 09, 2021

Kura Sushi, a Japanese restaurant known for its sushi conveyor belt, is coming to Center City

The new Japanese restaurant will be situated at 1721 Chestnut St. near Rittenhouse Square where the American Eagle Outfitters store once stood

Kura Sushi, a popular Japanese dining chain that brings sushi, ramen and other dishes to customers on a conveyor belt, is coming to Philadelphia.

The company will be opening its first establishment in Pennsylvania at 1721 Chestnut St. in Center City sometime this spring, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.

The restaurants strive to serve healthy meals by using only fresh ingredients, never including any artificial sweeteners, seasonings, preservatives or colorings.

The menu features a wide variety of sushi rolls and nigiri dishes, such as beef, salmon and tuna, as well as salads, soups, ramen, dumplings and desserts.

The new location will also have a liquor license, which is currently pending approval from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

The dining experience at Kura Sushi is unique, as it features a two-level conveyor belt system that delivers food right from the kitchen to the customer's table.

The conveyor belt's lower level is a revolving sushi bar that passes popular dishes throughout the restaurant, which any customer is free to take. The upper level is an express sushi belt featuring specific dishes that diners can order by using a tablet. 

Seating is situated close to the revolving sushi bar so that guests can easily grab plates as they arrive. The plates are outfitted with lids to protect against airborne exposure and are color coded depending on what they include.

While the concept of receiving sushi via a conveyor belt may be foreign to some, it's a very popular and common form of dining in Japan. In fact, for those looking to save a few bucks when out to eat, it is typically cheaper than most other sushi restaurants.

Stephen Starr's Pod restaurant in University City, which has been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, features a conveyor belt that brings sushi directly to customers.

Another novel aspect of Kura Sushi's dining experience is the prizes that the restaurant awards its customers. The more plates customers eat, the more prizes they receive. 

An anime video plays on the table's tablet for every five sushi orders placed, and diners receive additional rewards for every 15 plates they order, according to The Patch

The restaurant chain recently rolled out a new prize package that includes acrylic keychains, temporary tattoos and can badges, as well as a sushi cup for anyone who purchases a soft drink in-store or online. A tote bag was also recently awarded to certain customers for every $60 they spent.

Kura Sushi opened its first restaurant in 1977 and now has over 540 locations across Japan, Taiwan and the United States.

The restaurant chain added its first U.S. location in 2008 and has since opened 33 more, most of which are in Southern California and along the West Coast.

The company is seeking to further expand its East Coast presence with new restaurants in locations such as Jersey City and Fort Lee in North Jersey, as well as Washington, D.C.

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