Sado, a new sushi restaurant from the family behind the acclaimed duo of Nippon Tei in west St. Louis County and Indo in Botanical Heights, will open this fall in the former Giovanni’s building at 5201 Shaw Avenue on the Hill.
Sado will be both a relocation of and a transformation of Nippon Tei, which will stay open until this fall at 14025 Manchester Road between Ballwin and Des Peres.
Ann Bognar, the chef, and her husband, Mike, have operated Nippon Tei since 2001. Their son, Nick Bognar, took over as executive chef in 2017. Two years later, he opened Indo to local and national acclaim.
Nick Bognar tells Off the Menu that Sado will be “a step up from Nippon Tei, bringing in a lot of the techniques that we’ve done at Indo, but hopefully being able to do it on a larger scale, just because we have more facilities with this (new) building.”
Sado will accommodate somewhere between 100 and 120 diners. It will feature a range of experiences, from multicourse, chef-directed omakase dinners at the sushi bar to some of the sushi rolls and other dishes that are customer favorites at Nippon Tei.
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Nippon Tei has always been “a chill place for everyone,” Bognar says.
“And we want to keep that vibe (at Sado), too,” he continues. “But if you want to go all out and try, you know, some of the coolest fish preparations that we’re doing, we’re gonna have that available as well.”
Sado is Japanese for tea ceremony. In a statement with Thursday’s announcement about the new restaurant, Bognar said, “Japanese tea ceremonies are all about beauty, respect and harmony — honoring the general welfare of people. We want to extend that care and hospitality to our guests at Sado.”
(Bognar tells Off the Menu that while Sado might not feature a straightforward tea ceremony or tea service, he is excited to see what beverage director Kira Webster will develop for the new restaurant.)
Leaving Nippon Tei’s home of 21 years was a “tough decision,” Bognar says. Still, the family is purchasing Sado’s building, and “being able to own a piece of real estate is huge for us.”
In addition, Sado’s location is only a short drive from Indo at 1641D Tower Grove Avenue.