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Sushi masters Matt and Jesse Ito join Royal Izakaya project in South Philadelphia

The long-awaited restaurant gets a high-powered team at the sushi bar.

The long-awaited Royal Sushi & Izakaya in Queen Village, which has been on the books for nearly five years, not only has a tentative opening date but a high-powered team at the sushi bar.

It's Masaharu "Matt" Ito, who over New Year's sold the landmark Fuji in Haddonfield, and his son, Jesse.

They are now partners in Royal with Stephen Simons and David Frank, Simons said.

"I got tired of going over the bridge for sushi," Simons said.

Royal has faced all kinds of delays in its opening at 782 S. Second St., as it takes the corner spot that was La Grolla and Il Villagio over the years.

Simons said Royal would open in late May or early June.

Simons and Frank also own the Khyber Pass, Royal Tavern, Cantina Los Caballitos, Cantina Dos Segundos, and Triangle Tavern. They also are developing a yet-unidentified bar concept on Second Street between Market and Chestnut Streets.

Matt Ito got into the American sushi game in 1976, when he started at Sagami in Collingswood. He left in 1979 to open Fuji in Cinnaminson. When a construction project was announced in 2007, he and his son relocated to downtown Haddonfield. (See this Craig LaBan backgrounder.)

Meanwhile, Fuji is humming along on Kings Highway, same as before, under new owner and longtime sushi chef Chen Zheng.