Tex Wasabi'sAfter a 19 month closure, Guy Fieri’s Santa Rosa outpost of Tex Wasabi’s will reopen in May. According to Fieri spokesman Brett Hutchison, heavy reconstruction on the the “Rock and Roll Sushi-Barbecue” restaurant, which shuttered in September 2009, is nearing completion.

“It will be well worth the wait,” said Hutchison. With the kitchen finished and new employees hired, Fieri’s crew are shooting for an ambitious early May debut — possibly just weeks away.

Keeping the “Far East meets Wild West” theme, familiar dishes are expected to stay on the menu, but with a bit more reserve. Hutchison said the layout and slightly consolidated menu will be more family-friendly to compete with other nearby restaurants. “The bar won’t be the first thing you see when you walk in,” he added. An upstairs mezzanine will have seating for 50, along with it’s own bar and the restaurant recently got final approval for limited outdoor seating.

So why the wait? The restaurant closed in after a faulty sewer pipe ruptured, causing severe water damage. As crews began renovations on the old building, more damage surfaced and more repairs were needed. “When you start pulling things away, we found out how bad it was, and we wanted to do this the right way,” Hutchison said.

The restaurant is one of five operated by Fieri’s restaurant group, including a Sacramento Tex Wasabi’s and three Johnny Garlic’s restaurants in Santa Rosa, Windsor and Roseville. A new Johnny Garlic’s is slated to open in Dublin in June. Rumors of a flashy Las Vegas restaurant for Fieri continue to make the rounds, but Hutchison brushes them off as purely speculation as Fieri ramps up for an upcoming book tour for Guy Fieri Food: More Than 150 Off-the-Hook Recipes (out in early May).

It’s the second major reopening in downtown Santa Rosa this spring as La Rosa Tequileria and Grille debuted in late April.