Holmgren Way is home to several of Green Bay’s greatest sports bars, but it’s also home to Nakashima of Japan– a sushi bar and hibachi location hiding between tall apartments and a hotel. The building is easily identifiable when you’re driving along in the daylight. My husband and I went after a Packers game once pre-pandemic to wait out the traffic. We enjoyed ourselves, but we hadn’t been back since then.
My mother was in town. She’s also a big sushi person. Living in rural central Illinois limits her sushi options, however, so we brought her to Nakashima originally to experience their hibachi. We didn’t make a reservation. The wait would have been an hour. This is to be expected with hibachi, especially so when the restaurant expresses problems with being short staffed in a small sign at the door when you arrive.
I was too hungry to wait an hour for an open table, so we decided to go to their sushi room for dinner. The restaurant has largely converted to a QR code menu, but paper menus are available for those that aren’t accustomed to QR menus such as my mother. Nakashima has a sister restaurant in Appleton that allows for a Yakiniku experience– that isn’t available at the Green Bay location.
The sushi scene in Downtown Green Bay has always been something of an enigma to me. My husband and I have to be in a particular mood for sushi most of the time, and our favorite in the region left Downtown last year. We didn’t explore the other options on Broadway after Koko Sushi Bar moved. We simply accepted the nearest option when the mood struck us, which is now Umi Sushi.
One Sunday afternoon, we made our way to the Broadway District to try out the all you can eat Sushi Lover across the street from Titletown Brewing. We arrived shortly before opening time, and a small crowd was already gathered to wait their turn at a table. I thought this to be a good sign at the time. If that many people were waiting for the doors to open, then surely what waited for us inside was worth it.
Koko Sushi Bar moved to their new location over the summer of 2021, and I have taken my time getting out there. We are big sushi lovers. Umi Sushi, however, is a block away. Our experience at Koko Sushi Bar in their downtown location in 2020 remains the best in town even with Umi Sushi so close to where we live. Our decision to visit Koko’s new location came in a Friday evening while we were out on the west side trying to decide on dinner. We had originally went out to visit Badger State Brewing and the Bay Burger Food truck. The truck was delayed, and we were hungry.
So we went farther down Lombardi to visit an old friend of a restaurant that we had neglected over time. Stepping into the restaurant and seeing the tree that was a famous fixture of the old location reminded me that I had done them a disservice by not coming to visit them again. We were seated quickly despite the Friday night crowd, and we ordered our small meal for the night.
One of the first restaurants in the Green Bay area that my husband and I visited after we moved in was Umi Sushi in Bellevue. At the time, we thought it conveniently located-- but nothing to write home about. I spent those first few weeks avoiding any writing on local restaurants to try to get my bearings with the area. My mother was in town this weekend. She accompanied us on our first trip to Umi, and we thought it only appropriate to bring her again for our first post-COVID visit.
Umi Sushi had their indoor dining closed for much of the pandemic, reopening dine in on May 1st of this year. This is part of the reason we hadn’t been back in a long time to give them another shot. We really only want sushi if we’re sitting down inside the restaurant. Ordering for takeout isn’t something appealing to my husband and I when it comes to sushi.