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Kobe Japanese Steakhouse construction stalled

Posted: September 5, 2013 - 12:55pm
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Kobe of Conway is experiencing  delays  for the opening of the new Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar due to issues with fire codes.
Kobe of Conway is experiencing delays for the opening of the new Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar due to issues with fire codes.

Kobe, of Conway, is facing fire code issues that have prevented them from opening their new steakhouse and sushi bar location on Prince Street.

In June, Rachel’s Rumors reported Kobe was expected to open before neighboring restaurant Mamacita’s Mexican Bar & Grill, possibly as early as July.

It’s September and Chief Fire Marshal Kenny Wiedower said the restaurant is stuck at the permits, inspections and codes stage of the development review process.

“They submitted a set of plans for review and, when we went for initial inspection they had not completed their life safety issues,” he said.

The Life Safety Code was put in place by the National Fire Protection Association to address the construction, protection and occupancy features that minimize danger to human life from the effects of fire, including smoke, heat and toxic gasses created during a fire.

Such features include sprinklers, fire alarms and clearly marked exits.

Lynn Hicks, assistant director of permits, inspections and code enforcement, said Kobe is facing issues with fire alarms and the vents over their hibachi grills.

When asked when the restaurant will open, manager Joseph Park said it depends on the city.

But Wiedower said he doesn’t know why Park is putting the blame on the city because the architects and design professionals who drew the site plans should be aware of the codes.

“Fire codes are not gray,” he said. “It’s black and white, and we follow that.”

When the restaurant complies with city code, it will feature a full bar and seat about 120 guests.

(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at michelle.corbet@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1215. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

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