Sapporo Tanoshii brings sushi bar, hibachi grill to Algonquin

  • Sapporo Tanoshii, a new Japanese restaurant, is opening in Algonquin where Famous Dave's used to be.

    Sapporo Tanoshii, a new Japanese restaurant, is opening in Algonquin where Famous Dave's used to be. Rick West | Staff Photographer

Updated 5/28/2019 2:18 PM

Renowned Chicago sushi chef Mike Ham is bringing his Japanese cuisine to the Randall Road corridor.

Ham opened Sapporo Tanoshii, which means happy village, at 1521 S. Randall Road, in Algonquin, this month.


In addition to serving handcrafted sushi, the new business also is a hibachi restaurant.

It is the first Japanese hibachi restaurant for Ham, and his third sushi location.

Inside of Sapporo Tanoshii, you will find a sushi bar, along with 12 hibachi tables, and a full bar.

To introduce customers to the restaurant, Sapporo Tanoshii is doing a soft opening for now, with an official grand opening planned soon.

The restaurant fills the former Famous Dave's barbecue spot, on the east side of Randall Road, near Best Buy and Joanne.

The building has been vacant since 2017, when Famous Dave's closed after nine years along the Randall Road corridor.

For months, crews have been working on the new Sapporo Tanoshii, with signs up saying it is coming to the area.

Originally, there was talk of opening the restaurant in December. Now, after a complete interior renovation, it opened this month.

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Ham said he is happy to finally bring his cuisine to the area.

"We are excited to bring our creative sushi style to the community," he said. "This location will provide a unique Tanoshii experience with the addition of hibachi menu items."

Ham first learned to make sushi while living in Jacksonville, Florida. He was a regular at a local restaurant there, and was amazed at what the chef could do with sushi.

At the time Ham was an accountant. He quit that job, and started studying under the chef. He eventually traveled across the country learning his craft, working in New York, and finally settling in Chicago.

Presently, there are two Tanoshii Sushi locations in Chicago. The first opened in the Andersonville neighborhood in 2004. There is a second spot in the West Loop.


The new 6,500-square-foot restaurant in Algonquin's Galleria mall seats 160 people and has a private dining room.

"The village is very excited to have yet another high quality restaurant join the growing list of fine dining establishments in our community," Algonquin senior planner Ben Mason said. "Sapporo Tanoshii has done a great job re-purposing an existing building, and Algonquin is delighted the owner chose this location for their wonderful steak and sushi offerings."

For information call (847) 854-3338.

Yoga at Geneva Commons: This year, Geneva Commons is starting something to keep you centered in the midst of summer fun.

It is hosting Yoga on the Green in the commons area at the center of the mall.

There will be a free session at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 29, with subsequent hourlong sessions at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 5 and June 12.

Yellow Aura yoga studio, located at 27 N. Second Street, in Geneva, will be hosting the sessions at Geneva Commons, which will feature slow flow peaceful vinyasa yoga.

The experienced instructors will lead an extended warm up and cool down, with work in both low lunges and table top.

If you would like to check it out, the sessions are all free.

All attendees should bring their own mats to the sessions.

Amy Williams' column covers all the news of business along the Randall Road corridor from Batavia to Crystal Lake. Contact her at or (847) 894-5036.

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