Another sushi restaurant plans to open on the southeast side of Novi.
The city’s planning commission took up and approved during its meeting Wednesday several items related to a proposal to bring Anu Sushi to the Peachtree shopping center near 10 Mile and Meadowbrook. The restaurant would occupy a currently-vacant space in the plaza, which contains mostly educational and medical businesses.
The restaurant would serve as a carryout-only place, preparing sushi for takeout. Original plans called for a fryer, though Sam Mathew, the petitioner for Anu Sushi, said they have decided to not have a fryer on site.
“We have decided not to have a fryer at this time,” Mathew told the planning commission. “No fried food would be produced there.”
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While the planning commission approved the plans for the restaurant, several people spoke out against its approval during the meeting, which was held online via Zoom. Sue Kang with O’Sushi, which is located in the nearby Novi Plaza shopping center, said having another sushi restaurant open so close to them was devastating news that could affect her business.
She said they’ve been slowly building and working to recover, especially since COVID-19 arrived in Michigan. Adding a competitor on the same corner, she said, was troublesome and worried her and her family.
“This is heartbreaking for us. We want to stay in Novi,” she said. “We’re just building it and suddenly the pandemic happened and now this news.
“This is like setting us up for failure.”
Stephanie McMullen, who lives behind the shopping center, told the planning commission she did not want to see the restaurant appear in the center, saying she was worried about garbage and odors wafting over to her property.
“We don’t feel like there needs to be a sushi place right there,” she said. “I think there are other places in Novi.
Despite the calls to keep the restaurant away, commissioners said so long as the restaurant adheres to the city’s rules, they could not deny the request simply because there was a similar restaurant nearby.
Commissioner Michael Lynch said he was sympathetic to those issues, but said the commission could not take competition into effect when considering the application.
“I do understand the concerns. I believe that those concerns, once again, are out of our purview,” he said. “We’ve approved similar special land use on prior occasions. I don’t ever remember rejecting one that came to us with a similar proposal. It would be inappropriate for me to reject this one if it’s not causing additional problems in the area.”
Contact reporter David Veselenak at [email protected] or 734-678-6728. Follow him on Twitter @davidveselenak.
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