Kelly Yu Kawaii Sushi and Asian Cuisine

Kelly Yu, owner of Kawaii Sushi and Asian Cuisine, cuts a ceremonial ribbon with restaurant employees and the Peoria Chamber of Commerce on Dec. 4

Members of the Peoria Chamber of Commerce joined the staff of Kawaii Sushi and Asian Cuisine in Peoria on Dec. 4 to celebrate the restaurant’s first year of business with a ribbon-cutting.

The restaurant is own of three owned by Kelly Yu, who opened the first Kawaii in Glendale nearly six years ago, offers an ever-changing menu of Japanese and Chinese cuisine, rotating specials to meet everybody’s needs by month.

Items such as the Peoria roll, which features salmon and fried tempura, or a variety of non-seafood options, allow visitors of all taste pallets to enjoy the cuisine of eastern Asia.

Yu is a natural people-pleaser, going from customers to supporters with a smile on her face and always laughing while still professional. As seen with every interaction, it appears she is happy to have accomplished a long-time dream.

“Fifteen years ago, when I first moved to the United States, my aunt had already started and so that made me want to open my own. And after 10 years of working in restaurants, I finally got to open my own,” Yu said.

Yu has lived in Peoria since 2009. Owning and operating a restaurant nearby – she says it’s a short drive to get to Kawaii from her house – was another goal, after 

She said a customer ran out earlier this year without paying their tab. When a church across the street heard the news, it posted a message on social media, and nearly 40 people came within days to provide business to make up for the customer’s lack of pay.

“The people in Peoria are so nice, I had to have one here,” Yu said.

With three restaurant locations open, including two in Glendale, Yu would consider expansion in the future. For now, though, said the focus of her and the staff is on continuing to prosper in the current spots they have.

“I opened two in one year, so I have been very busy. But it’s fun,” she said.

Kawaii Sushi and Asian Cuisine is located at 8386 W. Deer Valley Road, Suite 114, Peoria. For more information visit