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A Conveyor-Belt Sushi Chain Coming to Watertown Awards Prizes for Eating

A Japanese chain called Kura Sushi plans to open at Arsenal Yards in 2021

Hands holding chopsticks reach across a conveyor belt to pluck pieces of sushi from plates moving slowly past
Conveyor belt sushi is on its way to Watertown
Kura Sushi [Official Photo]

Conveyor-belt sushi is rolling toward Watertown. Japan-based sushi chain Kura Sushi plans to open an outpost in the Arsenal Yards development sometime during the summer of 2021. The chain was founded in 1977 and has grown to include more than 450 locations across Japan, Taiwan, and the United States, and the Watertown location will be Kura’s first in New England.

Diners at Kura place orders on touch screens and then pluck their selections from the conveyor belt as it inches by. Kura’s menus include countless sushi options, along with ramen, gyoza, crispy squid, shrimp tempura, fried chicken, and various other Japanese snacks.

“Kura Sushi is a spectacularly popular and creative global dining experience that we are thrilled to bring to the Arsenal Yards community,” said Bill McQuillan, who is the principal at Boylston Properties, the real estate company behind Arsenal Yards, in a press release. “In our efforts to create a true urban village, we hope this eclectic array of restaurants will offer a little something for everyone. Kura Sushi is an ideal addition to the already exceptional Arsenal Yards line-up of diverse cuisines.”

In addition to a kitschy interactive dining experience, Kura has prizes: Eaters that consume 15 sushi plates will receive a “Bikkura Pon” prize (such as this Lego-like toy, sushi-shaped erasers, and more). And after depositing five plates in the plate disposal slot situated next to each seat, diners will be entertained by animated videos. It all sounds absurd — but also fun in a small doses kind of way.

“We are delighted to join Arsenal Yards and introduce the Kura Sushi experience to New England,” said Hitomi Vinciguerra, the PR manager at Kura Sushi USA, in a press release. “Our offering of traditional Japanese cuisine served in a modern way will be a truly unique experience for friends and families in Watertown and beyond in Greater Boston.”

Kura Sushi will be joining a vibrant dining scene at Watertown Yards, with other forthcoming restaurants including The Gallows/Blackbird Doughnuts, a yakitori chain called Tori Jiro, New Haven pizzeria chain Frank Pepe, Pokéworks, Shake Shack, and a beer bar with more than 100 draft lines.

Tracking the Growing Restaurant Scene at Arsenal Yards in Watertown [EBOS]