When you think of AJ McCarron, you immediately think sushi. So, it’s no surprise the former Alabama quarterback is opening a “fast-casual” sushi establishment called “Ajian,” with a terrible pun on his name.
If the name alone does not terrify you, the custom sushi roll concept involving hot Cheetos and Nutella may do so. It also sounds like people will be ordering these concoctions on iPads.
“You walk into our fast-casual atmosphere and you’ll design your own roll every time,” said Pete Zimmer, co-owner and main operator of Ajian Sushi. “At the hit of a button we’ll have white or brown rice, and from there you’ll pick your proteins, vegetables, toppings and sauces for close to $8 a roll.”
After spending 30 years in the restaurant business, Zimmer hopes to offer both the usual and unusual rolls one might expect from a classic sushi bistro. Ajian Sushi will maintain the traditional proteins like smoked salmon and spicy tuna, but will also provide options like the flamin’ hot Cheeto roll, peanut butter and jelly roll and the banana and Nutella roll for more daring customers.
“Fast-casual” works well for colleges. But, it has to fill one of a few specific niches on a college campus. A burrito is filling and portable, for the drunk person walking home. A pizza can arrive at a domicile before drunk people pass out. A sub you can grab quickly moving to-and-from educational duties.
If you’re rolling with this sort of nonsense, you need seating, dollar shots, and sake bombs.