AJ McCarron’s new sushi restaurant is ready to roll.
The former Alabama quarterback, now with the Cincinnati Bengals, is a co-owner of a new establishment called “Ajian.” The business is getting ready to open in downtown Tuscaloosa on Tuesday evening, one of the partners in the restaurant told AL.com.
It’s located at 1914 University Blvd.
“It’s a build-your-own sushi roll (concept),” Pete Zimmer, co-owner and operator of Ajian, told AL.com in an interview. “We are taking advantage of that whole fast-casual, build-your-own model that started with Chipotle and Subway and has blossomed into Mediterranean food and pizza. Sushi seemed to be one of the few venues where it has not really hit its stride yet, so we thought we would jump on the front end of it.”
Of course, the name Ajian is a play on McCarron’s name and the restaurant’s Asian food concept. However, one can’t help but think McCarron whiffed on a way more profitable name.
Sushi Roll Tide was RIGHT THERE, AJ. https://t.co/ZaBoFuuf5q
— Adam Jacobi (@Adam_Jacobi) August 8, 2017
Whether Greg McElroy decides to open up a rival sushi restaurant called “McElroll” is anybody’s guess.
According to Zimmer, Ajian customers can build their own sushi rolls from a selection of 12 proteins, eight vegetables and fruits, seven sauces and eight toppings.
Aside from the ones that can be created, Ajian will also have about nine suggested sushi rolls that the restaurant has put together resembling known traditional ones like the California Roll.
Zimmer is optimistic about the success of the restaurant based on his assessment that sushi is the “chosen food of the millennial generation.”
McCarron led Alabama to back-to-back national championships in the 2011 and 2012 seasons. He was a fifth-round draft pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2014.