Monday, July 26, 2021

Kyoto Sushi

Last days of the original "Kyoto Sushi", picture by author, 2014

Kyoto Sushi (at 113 College Main) doesn't exist anymore, it's now "Mama Sake", but when I entered Texas A&M University in the early 2010s, Kyoto Sushi not only was open but it had another sign facing south, visible from University Drive, that added to the atmosphere.

I had first written about Kyoto Sushi on a large Northgate post (since removed in site updates) and then on another post called 104-115 College Main which is still up as of this writing (albeit out of date) with new posts being split off of it (like this one). From what I had researched from that point, the building was originally the home of College Station's first police department.

From fall 1993 to mid-1994 it was ProTutors Incorporated, and following that, Disc-Go-Round, which it was as late as 2001. Kyoto Sushi came in for fall 2002, but I don't remember if I actually ate there (also sometime around 2010-2011, the front of the building was painted yellow). By night it served as a sake bar, and around 2012-2013 the sushi ceased entirely, and became the bar it is today (though the "Mama Sake" name didn't come in until later, I believe it was still officially "Kyoto Japanese"). Before ProTutors, my records mention a "Northgate Athletic" in 1985-1986 (not to be confused with Northgate Athletic Club where Logie's currently is) and the last spot of On the Double (from 1992-1993). I can't find anything beyond or before that.

I do remember in early 2014 the restaurant portion (guess it was operated by the bar) was called "The Bulgori" (which I had a menu of, and was Korean food, not Japanese) but by April that had already shuttered. The restaurant was okay, I guess. There was even a slice of blood orange with the meal. The upstairs portion was 115 College Main, accessed from a doorway to the right of what I knew as Kyoto Sushi.

Awkwardly-angled 2007 Google Street View with the unpainted bricks but no ugly facade

Until around 2013, 115 was "The Law Office of Drew Gibson & Associates". The lawyer office is still in Northgate and offers full services but I seem to remember them catering to the local area by helping students to get them out of trouble from drunken escapades. Probably as early as late 2014 (I mostly avoided Northgate by that time) it was a bar called One15, which it still is as of this writing. There's an almost-gone "Aggieland Studio" mural on the side of the building. As you can see in the shot below (when the building looked even worse), there's a sign that says "Paradise" above it. That was Paradise Scuba. It moved to Parkway Square in the mid 1990s (soon after that picture was taken, my 1993 phone book still has Paradise Scuba as being in Northgate) and eventually moving to the old Putt-Putt location.

A document written in 1995 dates this building back to 1935, but beyond the original police department building being here (their Texas Avenue building was built in 1978, and I have no idea if they stayed here long) I don't have information on the previous life of the building.

UPDATE 04-09-2022: One15 appears to have been closed sometime in early 2002. Also actually fit the address into the post.