An East Naples seafood restaurant recently changed ownership and soon will change its name, menu and decor. Stix Sushi & Seafood will replace Fish 41 Seafood this week in Lakewood Plaza on U.S. 41 East at Lakewood Avenue.
Operating for more than three years, Fish 41 opened in January 2020 in that longtime restaurant space at 4221 Tamiami Trail E. that previously was home to Bill’s Steak & Seafood, Mongello’s Restaurant & Lounge and KJ’s Tropical Palm Cafe.
“It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the closing of Fish 41 restaurant here in Naples, FL. It has been an amazing journey, and we are grateful for the support and patronage that we have received from this wonderful community,” the Fish 41 team posted May 7 on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “We want to express our sincerest gratitude to all of our loyal customers who have dined with us over the years. Your support and enthusiasm have kept us going through the good times and the bad, and we will always cherish the memories that we have made.”The new restaurant, Stix, which uses chopsticks to form the X in its logo name, will be open for lunch and dinner every day with late-night fun many nights. Expect a soft opening this Friday night with a limited menu ahead of its grand opening June 1.
“It’s not going to be the full menu, but it’s a good amount of the items,” said head sushi chef and co-owner Min Chao “Andy” Lian.
Lian, who also has A.J.’s Sushi and Cajun Seafood in New York, co-owns Stix with Kevin Boggan, an operator of nightclubs for many years in Orlando who will handle front-of-house duties; and Boggan’s nephew, Matt Boggan, who handles marketing efforts for the restaurant.
Lian has sampled most of the sushi in Naples restaurants, which he says are not serving authentic bite-size pieces. “Most of the rolls they’re making are too big for one bite,” he said, also noting that thick sashimi pieces should be cut thinner for a better dining experience.
Lian serves more pieces of thin sashimi instead of a few thick pieces and he creates more pieces of bite-size sushi rather than rolls packed with rice as filler.
“So, he’s really going to have a true, authentic sushi experience,” Matt Boggan said. “His family’s owned over 15 restaurants and he’s been in the restaurant industry since 8 years old,” he said. “He’s been in this industry now for over 20 years. He knows his sushi in and out and his biggest thing is bite-size rolls.”Another sushi chef who works at a highly rated sushi restaurant in Atlanta will be joining the local team at the end of May. Stix also will have a new executive chef in the kitchen soon.
The inaugural dinner service Friday will feature live entertainment by Manhattan Connection. Stix also will host extended nights with live entertainment.
“For example, starting June 1, we’re going to have a Latin Night with DJ Tanke, who does a lot of the Latin Night legends. So, he’s going to start doing every Thursday night a Latin Night from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.,” Boggan said. “We’ll have the Manhattan Connection on Friday nights, which has a huge following. So, we’re going to have some really good entertainment.”
The entertainment for Saturday nights will include a mixed lineup of bands from different genres. Karaoke will continue to be featured Wednesday nights, Kevin Boggan said.