New Winter Park sushi restaurant dedicated to tradition, freshness |

New Winter Park sushi restaurant dedicated to tradition, freshness

One of the focal points of the restaurant is the Japanese mural, which reflects the traditional aspects of the menu.
McKenna Harford /

The key to sushi is freshness – fresh fish, fresh ingredients and a fresh eye for flavor. For Turner “Tee” Paddock, co-owner of the new Sushi Nama in Winter Park, freshness is so important he put it in the name of the restaurant.

“I originally wanted something that was raw or fresh integrated into the name and so nama came in as the Japanese translation for fresh,” Paddock said. “Sushi Nama is a restaurant that has been in the works for the past two years.”

Sushi Nama, located in Cooper Creek, is an Asian flair restaurant with a menu consisting of a variety of sushi rolls, including hand rolls, as well as noodles and Japanese and Korean grill entrees. The restaurant will also have signature cocktails and a sake bar and feature Japanese whiskey and beer.

Paddock, who has lived in Denver for the past three decades, said he was inspired to build a restaurant of his own after working in the prestigious Denver restaurant Sushi Den.

“I’m trying to provide Winter Park with a great Denver-feel type of experience in terms of quality and customer service,” he said. “The menu is going to be more traditional sushi with modern innovation at the grill.”

Paddock’s sushi chef also comes from the Zagat-reviewed Sushi Den, where they learned a thing or two about providing a quality meal at the highest level of service. Transferring those skills to Sushi Nama in Winter Park means biweekly trips to the Denver fish markets to pick out the freshest ingredients.

“We definitely want to be known for the fact that our product is always fresh and that our customer service is unparalleled,” he said. “The majority of the fish is down in Denver. (…) West coast, east coast, even the Mediterranean and Japan, all of the oceans will do transit to Denver.”

It also means an ambiance that is welcoming, comfortable and memorable. In an effort to enhance the contemporary and traditional aspects of the restaurant, it will also feature a large Japanese-inspired wall mural.

Fresh ingredients translate to a variety of traditional sushi rolls and hand rolls, including a build-your-own option as well as more trend-inspired flavors, like a poke bowl hand roll. For colder days, customers can choose from ramen, udon or soba noodles and grill dishes.

Sushi Nama will offer daily and weekly specials based on the best ingredients available and what the chef is feeling.

For the winter season, Paddock plans to only be open for dinner from 4 p.m. to close, but hopes to offer lunch in the warmer months. The restaurant is scheduled to open Dec. 14, with a soft open from Dec. 3 – 10.

“When I saw the restaurant I knew I could turn it into something that everyone up here would love,” Paddock said. “We want to expect good volume and happy customers, us providing something that people are wanting to come back for.”


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