WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — Cambre Colon of Westborough and Katie Henault of Shrewsbury were unrecognizable as they stood Wednesday afternoon outside Bay State Commons.
The two were helping to advertise the opening of Sachi in Bay State Commons, but they were wearing masks that will be handed out to those celebrating birthdays, attracting attention from the traffic as it passed.
"I saw my aunt earlier and pulled off my mask," Colon said. "She just started laughing."
Colon is a server and Henault a bartender at the restaurant that had its "soft opening" Saturday. The opening wasn't advertised, as the restaurant still is in the process of training employees and getting ready for the true grand opening. Henault said the reception by the area was good this past weekend.
"We actually have gotten a pretty good night crowd," she said.
The grand opening can be expected in early to mid-November, said general manager Tina Wang. Signs outside the restaurant had been advertising a September opening, but Wang said issues with the documentation for compliance with Westborough's stringent fire code put it behind schedule.
"The Westborough Fire Department was a lot tougher than the others we've worked with," Wang said.
"We passed on the second [inspection] with everything. At first, we just didn't know we needed all those documents."
The Japanese steak and hibachi restaurant has locations in Ohio and Chicago. Wang said they chose Westborough because she has family in the area and there are no hibachi restaurants in the immediate area. She said she doesn't think many people even know Sachi offers the open-surface cooking option yet.
"For a soft opening and for not doing any advertising we're doing OK," she said. "A lot of people have been coming in and they don't even know we have hibachi."
Wang said the restaurant still is looking to hire hostesses and servers, but she has enough bartenders and chefs. Wang said most of her hibachi chefs are from New York City, where they trained for the job.
"They had to go through certain classes and train to become hibachi chefs," she said.
"Right now, I want to get everyone to get used to it and settled down," she said. "We have all the servers now that are all new, and they've never worked in a Japanese restaurant before. I need to get them settled down first before I do advertising."