The couple opened Fusion Restaurant in the heart of downtown Frankfort last January. The first Asian restaurant in Benzie County, it quickly drew the locals out of their winter hibernation and the flow of customers didnt stop through the summer.
Originally from Laos, Ku moved to the Detroit area with his family and became a middle school teacher, but he knew deep down the food business was his true calling. The couple looked in larger cities but settled on the ambience of the small Lake Michigan town.
We knew there was no Asian influence in the area, that the closest was Traverse City, and we just loved the area, Ku explained. They didnt want to build new, and they found just the right space on Main Street, which they renovated in traditional black and white décor, with many detailed touches. The look is exquisitely contemporary, offering a worldly, cosmopolitan touch to rural Benzie County.
The Kus and their staff have put in long days since they opened, and they are thrilled with the response from the community.
Everyone has been wonderfully supportive, Bobbisee said, So many have told us they were just waiting for a place like ours. The locals come back over and over and weve made many friends already.
Using only the freshest ingredients -- and with authentic dishes like Thai Red Gang Curry, Korean Kim Chee, Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Japanese sushi and traditional Chinese-American choices -- they are quickly earning a following of loyal customers. Along with the varied menu, Fusion offers Rihaku Nigori and Ginga Shiziciku Sake, a variety of beers, from the popular Sapporo, a light, crisp Japanese beer, to those from China and Thailand.
Bobbisee added that it is their loyal customer base that they are happiest about. They want us to succeed, so we listen to what they want and try to offer it.
They will soon have wraps and sandwiches at lunch. And, theyve added low-carb dishes and stock a chilled plum wine that was a customers special request.
The Kus are planning to be a permanent part of the Frankfort landscape for years to come, with hopes of opening more restaurants in the Northern Michigan area. Were very happy to be part of the community here, explained Ku. Ive met hundreds of wonderful people; I cant remember all their names! Bobbiesee said. I hope that every local citizen will come in and try us, at least once.
Fusion Fall/Winter hours are: Tues.-Thurs. 11-8, Fri.-Sat. 11-9 and Sunday 11-8. They are closed Monday. Dinners range $9-20, lunches $4-7.