About Nama Sushi Bar
Nama is the premier sushi location and has been consistently voted number one for sushi in the Knoxville area. Whether you are looking to test the waters with your first sushi experience as many have since our opening, looking for a romantic dinner on date night, or headed out for a night with friends or family, Nama is the perfect place for you.
The original Nama Sushi Bar opened July of 2004 in the heart of Downtown Knoxville's 100 block of Gay Street. Our popularity led to our second and ever popular location in Bearden in 2008. In 2011 the downtown restaurant doubled in size and transitioned into a modern and sophisticated atmosphere, by moving from its original spot to its new location at 506 S. Gay Street.
In 2014, Nama opened their third location in Nashville. For those of you who are familiar and/or for those of you visiting this popular city…you may now join us for lunch or dinner at the corner of Elliston Place and 23rd Avenue North in Nashville near Vanderbilt University. Due to the success of the first Nashville location, the Nama Management team has opened a second location south of Nashville in Brentwood. Check out the news links listed below for more information. Thank you for visiting our website. We look forward to serving you the best Nama Experience. - Nama Managementjoin our team
January 11, 2017
Nama got its start in Knoxville, where there are currently two locations of the restaurant. In 2014, a Nama opened up in Nashville on Elliston Place. When that restaurant proved to be a success, Director of Operations Anthony Fowler said he began looking for other areas near the city where Nama could move.
“We were looking to expand the concept and we felt that Brentwood was a great location for us,” Fowler said.
There are multiple reasons Fowler felt this way. For one, he said Brentwood was a town that had a clear interest in cuisine.
Location also had a lot to do with it. Fowler sensed a demand for a Nama outside the city.
“Within six months, we were getting, ‘You guys should come to Franklin, Brentwood or somewhere south of Nashville,’” he said.
Fowler said Brentwood is an ideal location for people who want to go to a nice sushi restaurant, but don’t want to have to drive all the way into Nashville.
November 23, 2015
The first Nashville-area locations of Atlanta-based burger concept Yeah! Burger and casual Mexican restaurant Uncle Julio's and the second Nama Sushi Bar will be among the new dining options at Hill Center Brentwood.
Nama Sushi Bar, which has a Midtown Nashville location, anticipates opening at Hill Center Brentwood in late 2016. Uncle Julio's, whose president, Tom Vogel, lives in Brentwood, expects to open in a standalone building in late 2016 or early 2017. Yeah! Burger is targeting a spring 2017 opening.
October 8, 2015
When Nama announced plans in 2014 to open a Nashville location, that was music to this East Tennessean’s ears, as I’m sure it was for many Knoxvillians who moved west to the big It City. Nama has been serving sake and sashimi, among other Japanese and Japanese-inspired items, in downtown Knoxville since 2004, and is generally beloved in the city’s dining scene. The newest spot in the restaurant’s three-location portfolio, and the first outside of Volunteer country, is in the Elliston 23 mixed-use development near Vanderbilt. Menu prices range from $4 appetizers to $23 entrees, but a discerning diner would be wise to check the daily specials and plan accordingly. Make it in before 6 p.m. for happy hour, and you can pair $3 sake and $5 cocktails with your meal. A sushi steal!
The vast, two-story space at the base of Elliston Place apartments has been aptly filled by Knoxville-based sushi restaurant Nama. And while there is plenty of sushi to be found at other spots nearby, Nama offers it in a fresh environment that feels stylish, buzzy, and fit for its West End location.
A large bar takes up one end of the room, and out front there’s a light-filled patio surrounded by greenery. The second-story balcony seats look like a great perch for scoping out the city streets, but they’re currently only seating private parties up there. No matter, though, since the main dining room provides ample views as well. There are cozy booths along one wall of windows in case you want a quiet dinner, or you can join the bar scene by grabbing a seat nearby at the long communal table at the center of the room.
Either way, settle in with one of the many sakes on hand. Nama’s list is both long and full of good options; take advantage of the selection with a tasting flight. When it comes time to order a bite, sashimi and rolls may be the stars here, but it’s hard not to be tempted by the menu of chef specialties, like the lime-laced, masago-topped ceviche made with whatever fresh fish is on hand that day or the shrimp egg drop soup, a peppery rendition that won the restaurant’s internal “Top Chef challenge” wherein chefs across the three Nama locations competed with original dishes. On the hot menu, check out the pineapple pork tenderloin for a play on the sweet-and-sour staple or heartier items like the spicy tuna burger.
But back to that sushi. There’s a lineup of traditional nigiri and maki plus an array of specialty and vegetarian rolls. The Soy Joy is one of their best sellers for good reason: Made with spicy tuna and seared albacore tuna, it’s the perfect mix of crunch, cream, and heat. There are also more playful items—the Maui Wowie’s crunchy shrimp is topped with slices of yellowtail and pineapple salsa, and the Orange Crunch features candied shrimp, salmon, and carrot. And while roll prices tend to run high (about $9 to $18 each), Nama offers half-price menus on Mondays and Thursdays, happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. daily (and all day Friday), plus an express lunch menu during the week—meaning they’ve got you covered whenever you need a raw fish fix.
December 9, 2014
A new two-story, 225-seat sushi restaurant is open in Midtown.
The 5,200-square-foot Nama Sushi Bar opened in late November on the ground floor of the Elliston 23 mixed-use development.
R. Gale Huneycutt Jr., CEO of Nama Nashville LLC, said he has been pleased with the community's response to the new restaurant. Nama serves lunch and dinner daily, with a full service bar offering wine, sake, craft beer and cocktails.
"The residents at Elliston 23, as well as the students in the area and just the overall community, have really been excited about our opening," Huneycutt said.
Founded in 2002, Nama Sushi Bar operates two locations in Knoxville.The Nashville location is a franchise.
The restaurant's menu includes appetizers, salads, entrees, traditional sushi rolls, vegetarian options and a "hot nama" section, which Huneycutt described as Asian fusion dishes for the non-sushi customer.
December 27, 2013
A popular sushi restaurant in Knoxville is expanding west, and it's just a small part of a bigger picture.
According to our partners at the Tennessean, Nama Sushi Bar will open its first franchise location in Nashville.
There are currently two in Knoxville - one downtown and one in Bearden. Middle Tennessee's first location will open in Midtown Nashville.
The Tennessean says the chief manager of Nama plans to open several locations in the area over the next few years.
Yum Magazine, Winter 2012