Photo Credit: Skip Dickstein/Times Union



New Asian spot coming to Central Ave.

 An Asian restaurant called Kitsu, with an emphasis on sushi and other Japanese cuisine, will be opening this month at 218 Central Ave., Albany, site of the beloved former Saso's.

 The owner is James Chen, who owns Mr. Wasabi in Schenectady and was an opening partner in the new-last-year Shogun Sushi & Sake Bar in Delmar, with which he is no longer affiliated.

 Chen is aiming for a Valentine's Day debut, depending on finishing touches. He owns the business but not the building.

 Like Shogun, Kitsu was wholly designed, from decor to logos to menu layout and typeface, by busy area artist Tommy Watkins. The name, chosen by Watkins, roughly translates to "healthy," Watkins said.

 Kitsu is the fifth area restaurant he has had a hand in designing, including Mr. Wasabi, Shogun, a mural in the stairway of the Daily Grind on Lark Street and the forthcoming Ruby's Asian Bistro. Watkins said the latter, being built next to the Partridge Pub on Madison Avenue in Albany, should open later this winter.

Photo Caption: TOMMY WATKINS, an Albany artist, finishes a mural on the front of the new Kitsu, an Asian restaurant opening soon in the location of the former Saso's Japanese Noodle House.