Zen Wok Fusion is one of the newest restaurants in the Tower District that's hoping to take off strong during a struggling economy. "We wanted to bring a new, fresher idea to the whole mix that's especially upscale food at affordable prices," said Andy Karsh, owner of Zen Wok Fusion.
Beef salad, honey walnut shrimp and spare ribs are several of the Asian dishes this fusion restaurant is offering. "When you taste our food, the flavors are there, it looks good, it takes good, it's exciting and the restaurant's comfortable," said Karsh.
Just in the past two months, several restaurants have opened their doors in the vibrant community of the Tower District. Pinot Wine Bar, a wine tasting restaurant recently opened, as well as Blimpies and the Tower Café. But not all food establishments are thriving. Guilia's restaurant in Northwest Fresno announced this week its going out of business because of poor sales. As places go out of business though, room opens up for entrepreneurs who want to take a stab at the restaurant industry.
"I think that's what it goes back to, if you do your homework and you take the calculated risks, then I think you're going to have potentially some level of better success," said Lorraine Salazar with the California Restaurant Association of Fresno.
Across town, Fabian Rodriguez is hoping The Steakhouse restaurant standouts to customers. "I'm putting my life on the line, I'm putting my money on the line and there's an incredible risk. If you can't sleep at night, you're wondering if people are going to show up every day," said Rodriguez. The restaurant and bar offers fine dining in an area saturated with fast-food places. "It's a condense, small menu and our reason for that is to be able to give out good quality food, consistent friendly service and just dominate it from that point," said Rodriguez. That friendly atmosphere is one quality many of these new businesses say will help them succeed and stay open for years to come.