GULFPORT -- Rock-n-Roll Sushi restaurant is opening its first Mississippi location in downtown Gulfport by the end of May, its owners say.
The sushi restaurant will be on U.S. 49 just north of the railroad tracks. Owners Derek and Courtney Sutherland were fans of the Alabama chain before they decided to open a franchise.
"We're just different from any Japanese sushi bar," Courtney Sutherland said. "It's a different twist on sushi, as far as the environment goes."
Sutherland, who fell in love with rock 'n' roll when she heard Led Zeppelin at age 13, said her husband took her to eat at one of two Rock-n-Roll Sushi restaurants in Mobile.
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"I loved the place," she said. Alabama has six Rock-n-Roll Sushi locations.
Her husband owned the building where the Gulfport restaurant will be located. When she walked in, Courtney Sutherland said, she visualized what the restaurant would look like once she decorated. It has bright red booths with black tables, with silver chairs and, dominating the design, poster-sized black-and-white photos of rock legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones.
The rock 'n roll theme carries over to the menu categories -- appetizers called Opening Acts, Headliners that include the Michael Jackson and Elvizrolls, Classic Rock rolls and After Party desserts.
Appetizers include homemade jalapeno poppers, crab meat wontons and crabtinis -- shredded crab in a martini class with a lemon wedge. The J. Hendrix Roll includes shrimp tempura, cream cheese, and cucumber; topped with mango, sweet chili sauce, and eel sauce. There's even an Ozzy Osbourne roll with an extra spicy sauce. Rolls come fried, baked or cold.
Raw sushi also is served, and marked as raw on the menu.
Sutherland said the restaurant has one dessert called "Stairway to Heaven," which is a brownie topped with two scoops of ice cream, and drizzled with chocolate and caramel syrup.
A private dining section that seats a minimum of six will be available for parties and business meetings. The restaurant also will prepare sushi trays for groups.
The Sutherlands will have a soft opening first. Courtney Sutherland said the restaurant has given her a new outlet for her love of rock music.
"If you're a rock fan, you'll get excited when you walk in the place," she said. "I had a lot of fun decorating. I'm a huge rock fan."