A new sushi restaurant is coming to downtown Sonora next week.

Shiro Ninja Japanese Bistro Bar and Grill is scheduled to open next Wednesday at 147 S. Washington St., according to owners Than Shwe, 40, and his wife, Than Than, 43, both of Sonora.

“We like the community with American lifestyle, so we decided to bring the restaurant here,” said Than Shwe.

For the past three years, the Shwes have cultivated a following in the Mother Lode as sushi makers for markets in Angels Camp, Murphys and Twain Harte.

The new restaurant marks the first business venture for the couple, who moved to the United States from Burma in 2007.

“We like California,” said Than Shwe. “The seasons are very nice, and California is the golden state.”

Than Shwe said they plan to serve both traditional and modernized styles of sushi made with sustainable fish and organic produce.

The restaurant will also serve ramen and grilled dishes.

After coming to the U.S., the couple worked at a sushi restaurant in San Francisco and later for another in the greater Sacramento area.

They said that they’ve been living in Angels Camp for the past three years and would visit downtown Sonora on occasion.

“We like the farmers market and downtown location,” Than Shwe said.

Now, the couple is remodeling the space on South Washington Street that formerly housed a barbecue restaurant.

Than Shwe said he wants to provide an authentic, modern experience for the customer.

“We thought it needed a modernized sushi place,” he said of the downtown area.

The couple, who has a 13-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son, recently moved to a home in Sonora.

Established downtown
eatery to change name

Some noticeable changes are taking place at Hot Shotz Sports Bar and Grill at 123 S. Washington St. in downtown Sonora.

Since taking over the business one year ago, owners Jim Pranes and Donna Carnes have worked to update the food menu, floor layout and extended the hours.

Now, a recent cease-and-desist letter from a Missouri-based franchise called Hot Shotz is forcing them to change the name as well.

Carnes said she sees it as an opportunity for a fresh start.

“It’s a little frustrating, but it’s something that’s actually a good thing,” Carnes said.

The owners aren’t announcing the new name yet until they secure the trademark, but once that happens they also plan to put in a new bar, booths and add new dinner items to the menu.

They also recently removed an overhang above the bar to create a more open atmosphere inside.

“We’re trying to make it more family friendly,” Carnes said.