Nobu Sushi, in case you haven’t heard of it, was created by a man named Nobuyuki Matsuhisa. “Nobu” as he is commonly known, started in an apprenticeship in a sushi bar in Tokyo, travelled from Tokyo to Argentina, back to Japan, and then to Alaska before finally settling down in Los Angeles. In L.A., Nobu opened his first restaurant called “Matsuhisa” in Beverly Hills. From here, he met his now good friend Robert De Niro (yes, that De Niro), and on De Niro’s urging opened the first ever Nobu sushi in New York in 1994. Now, Nobu Sushi exists on five continents – 32 restaurants in 28 cities around the world – and has been listed as one of the Top Ten Restaurant Destinations in the world by the New York Times (1993), among other honors. Nobu himself has been named One of the Most Influential Chefs of the Decade by Madrid Fusion (2009) and a nine-time nominee for Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation (1997, 1999-2006). One of those 32 locations is in Stadium 2 at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California, home of professionl tennis’ BNP Paribas Open (the proclaimed “fifth major”) every March. Stadium 1 of the Gardens holds the claim as the second largest tennis stadium in the world behind Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. The Desert Sun, the newspaper of the Palm Springs area, reported in March of 2014 that the BNP Paribas Open brings in approximately $5 million a year in revenue from approximately 450,000 fans, and that’s just part of the estimated $350 million a year the tournament brings to the entire Indian Wells community per year.
In other words, Nobu – and Indian Wells – is kind of a big deal.