Kura Sushi will bring a revolving sushi bar to Watertown. Robots, too.

The Japanese restaurant opens this spring at Arsenal Yards.

Kura Sushi
Kura Sushi. Jakob Layman for Kura Sushi

By early spring, Watertown should have another restaurant in its arsenal.

Kura Sushi, a Japanese concept known for its revolving sushi bar, will open its first New England restaurant at Arsenal Yards in Watertown’s eastern end. This dose of Japanese culinary futurism centers on a continually running conveyor belt laden with sushi, which passes by each table throughout the entire restaurant.

“We have a unique two-layer system. We call this the sushi highway,” said Lauren Murakami, spokesperson for Kura Sushi USA.

The bottom layer displays the sushi dishes, each protected by special lids. The top layer is the “Express Belt,” which delivers items ordered from a touch-panel tablet menu at the table.


“You place your order and the kitchen receives it and it zooms straight to your table,” Murakami said. “This is the beauty of our system, as opposed to the standard sit-down restaurant. You order when you want to order and, zoom, it comes straight to your table.”

kura sushi
Kura Sushi’s conveyor belt system. – Jakob Layman for Kura Sushi

The system automatically adds all dishes to the tab. All sushi dishes are priced at $3.30. Along with draft beer, bottled Japanese beers, sake, and plum wine, the menu includes 140 items, like noodle dishes, soups, and desserts such as the taiyaki ice cream. “It’s a fried pastry dish with red bean paste and vanilla ice cream,” Murakami said. “It’s one of our signature items.”

Along with signature sushi like a salmon-filled golden crunchy roll, a seared scallop roll, and a California roll with real crab, there are monthly seasonal specials.

“We call them Kura Monthly Discoveries,” Murakami said. “They stay on the menu for 10 days and change each month.”

If the revolving sushi bar weren’t enough futuristic fun, Kura Sushi’s Kurabots are robot servers that help the human servers.

“They are assistants. They by no means replace the servers,” Murakami said. “They are there to help. They deliver drinks and condiments — the soy sauce, wasabi, and ginger. It is very entertaining.”


Also, a Bikkura-Pon prize system rewards diners.

“Order five dishes and an anime plays on the tablet,” Murakami said. “But if you order 15, a prize is dispensed. We currently have a collaboration with Sanrio, so the prizes are ‘Hello Kitty and Friends.’ That may have changed by the time we open Watertown.”

Kura Sushi is the latest restaurant roll-out at Arsenal Yards. Last fall, Condesa Restaurante Mexicano & Tequila Bar, a locally owned mini-chain with two locations in Rhode Island, opened its first Massachusetts location there; last summer, Boston chef Jason Santos opened a branch of NoLa-styled Buttermilk and Bourbon, bringing a big, eye-catching outdoor patio to the Yards.

Kura Sushi, which opened in Japan in 1977, has more than 500 locations across Japan, Taiwan, and the United States. A second Massachusetts location in Dorchester is planned to open sometime next winter. As far as pinpointing an opening date in Watertown, Murakami was cautiously optimistic, but not specific.

“The last-minute details are being compiled,” she said. “Tentatively, let’s say early spring.”

Kura Revolving Sushi Bar will be open Sun.–Thur. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. at 101 Bond Square, Watertown.

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