The pandemic made us leaner and meaner. More resilient. More flexible. Better able to handle adversity. Better prepared for the future.
Those things all seem great in theory — or as headlines scrolling upward on your newsfeed. But in practice, the pandemic forced people to make a lot of difficult choices. Coming out the other end, it’s great to see some of these tough choices actually panning out.
Galvanized during the pandemic, the new Lime House in Hamburg is a distillation of the original Lime House in Williamsville. The OG’s sit-down, Japanese-Burmese concept has been refined down in Hamburg to a fast-casual concept that focuses on a couple of iconic Japanese foods.
“For the second location, we are focusing on sushi and ramen,” says Thanda Win, president of Lime House. “This is what we’re good at.”
When she says “we” — Win means her family. Lime House is a family-owned and operated company. While the company used to have a lot of non-blood relatives on staff, those employees went away during the pandemic.
“To be honest, I love to work with my family because we love each other,” Win says. “We talk things out and after we communicate, it’s always better. They also work really hard, and you can count on them.”
Lime House isn’t the family’s first rodeo. The family operated two sushi franchises in different local Wegmans locations for 15 years. After those contracts ended, the Win family struck out on their own with the original Lime House location that opened in 2017.
Drawn from lessons learned both at Wegmans and the first Lime House location, the menu at the new location plays like a greatest hits collection. Appetizers include tempura coconut shrimp ($8), shumai dumplings ($6) and crispy spring rolls (2 for $6). Speciality sushi rolls include the Lime House roll with snow crab, tuna, salmon and fish roe ($27), as well as a soft shell crab roll with avocado, roe and spicy mayo ($15). Ramen bowls include spicy miso ($15), duck ($19) and shrimp wonton ($15). Drink options include soft drinks, beer and wine.
Win says her limited, family staff has been cranking out a lot of food at the new location.
“We’re making like 150 bowls of ramen a day,” she says. “It’s very fast-paced. We are striving to meet customer expectations on quality in a short amount of time.”
Despite the changes forced upon her family business, Win says she’s happy to have the new location in Hamburg, a town she knows very well.
“I ran the sushi franchise in the Wegmans on McKinley Parkway in Blasdell for 15 years,” she says. “I spent my 20s and 30s feeding the Hamburg community and I always wanted to go back. So when I found this location, I said, ‘This is it!’”
Hours at time of publishing (Subject to change): Tuesday to Sunday 11:30 a.m. – 8 p.m., Monday CLOSED
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