Restaurateur and sushi chef Randy Musterer started looking for a location in Morgan Hill for a new Sushi Confidential restaurant in 2019, and didn’t relent even as the Covid-19 pandemic took its toll on the region’s dining and hospitality industry.
Last week, Musterer and his staff celebrated the unveiling of the new spot in downtown Morgan Hill—at the former location of Prova restaurant—with a ribbon cutting, series of soft openings and the grand public opening on April 10.
Musterer—whose small Sushi Confidential chain now numbers three South Bay restaurants—said the latest openings have resembled a kind of homecoming. Many of his employees at the new restaurant at 17340 Monterey Road are Morgan Hill natives who already know each other and their new customers—who include former teachers, neighbors, karate instructors and coaches, Musterer said.
“The front of the house team—as well as the back of the house—are pretty much all from Morgan Hill. A lot of them are born and raised (here) so they have a vested interest to do the best service possible,” Musterer said. “It’s been a community, family friendly environment.”
Musterer, also known as “Sushi Randy,” had an earlier career in Silicon Valley as a cancer researcher, with a “side hustle” as an evening sushi chef, he said. In 2012, he “retired” from biotech and took his culinary passions to the next level by opening his first Sushi Confidential in downtown Campbell. He opened his downtown San Jose restaurant in 2016, and has continued to expand with catering and concessions.
One night in 2019, while serving sushi at an event at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, Musterer said at least 10 different groups of people told him he should open a Sushi Confidential in Morgan Hill. That’s an unusual volume of unsolicited input, so he took it to heart and began a serious search for the right location.
Musterer added he had been “casually” looking for a location in Morgan Hill before then, as many of Sushi Confidential’s most loyal customers have been moving here. But also in 2019, the city’s economic development staff responded to the growing local demand for Sushi Confidential by reaching out to Musterer in an effort to recruit the business owner to town.
The restaurateur worked directly with Assistant City Manager Edith Ramirez, who led him on tours of the city and informed him of commercial property vacancies where a new restaurant could work, Musterer explained.
Those efforts ultimately led to Musterer signing a lease in late 2021 for the spot where Sushi Confidential just opened. The space had been vacant since Prova closed in 2020.
The Morgan Hill staff of about 25 (and growing) have been training at Sushi Confidential’s Campbell location in recent weeks, Musterer said. Many of them are already experienced in the restaurant industry, helping to keep the Morgan Hill opening smooth.
The downtown Morgan Hill restaurant is currently operating on a limited schedule and reservations only as Musterer recruits and trains more staff. Reservations can be made on Sushi Confidential’s website or on the restaurant’s Yelp page.
After a few weeks, Musterer plans to expand the Morgan Hill restaurant’s hours and offerings more in line with Sushi Confidential’s established brand: late night dining and happy hour options, staying open seven days a week, takeout and catering. The restaurant will soon start working with DoorDash for deliveries.
“We want to focus on getting everything right from the start, and slowly expand our capabilities to be fully open for all the great things Sushi Confidential offers,” Musterer said. “Have patience. We’re doing our best. All our staff are local and they really want to do a great job for the community.”