Steve and Missy Friede said a bittersweet goodbye to Alexander House restaurant this summer, when they sold the restaurant to Nara LLC during a quick two-week period at the end of June.
Steve Jung, one of the new owners, said he plans to open an Asian restaurant called Sushi Nara, which translates from Korean to “Sushi World.”
Jung hopes to open the restaurant by Aug. 27.
Friede and his wife brought the Alexander House to life in 1999 after purchasing what used to be a five bedroom bed and breakfast.
“Ten years is a long time, and we had a good run,” Steve Friede said. “It wasn’t meant to be forever. Oxford is changing.”
The Alexander House had been on the market periodically for the past three years, and almost sold three other times.
Friede said he chose to sell the Alexander House because of the lifestyle and the number of years he ran the restaurant. He and his wife hope to spend more time with their three children.
This isn’t the end of the business world for the Friedes. Friede co-owns SDS Pizza, along with the owners of Skipper’s Pub. Friede will still be the property owner where the Alexander House was located.
Jung said he wanted to open a restaurant in Oxford because of the lack of quality restaurants in the area.
“I want to provide another food option that students are used to getting in their hometown,” Jung said.
Jung said he plans on serving traditional Asian dishes, including sushi, but special dishes will pop up on the menu.
Jung said he and two others, DJ and Jason Kang, worked for a month to remodel the former Alexander House.
A fusion of orange paints and red lights gives the restaurant an updated look.
“The environment will be very exciting and always on the upside,” Jung said. “We want to expose ourselves to new people.”
With a maximum occupancy of 120 people, there will be dining and bars on two floors, as well as private rooms for parties.
“We’re targeting young, professional students,” Jung said.
Steele DePew, head chef of the former Alexander House, said he was surprised the restaurant sold.
“I knew it was for sale the whole time I was there,” DePew said. “I knew it might happen, but there was no forewarning. I didn’t think it would happen so quickly.”
DePew added a few employees were upset with the lack of warning prior to the sale of Alexander House.
Friede said the Alexander House staff will more than likely be hired at the new restaurant and Jung said it’s a possibility.
DePew, who has worked at the restaurant for the past four years, said the new changes could be exciting.
“It’s kind of cool; I’m supposed to talk to the new owners soon,” DePew said. “It’s really up in the air, so I’m more nervous than excited right now.”
Hours of operation for Sushi Nara will be 11 a.m. to midnight Monday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The restaurant will close Sundays.