Restaurant Makover: Part Four- How on Earth Were We Able to Pull This Off?

Posted by Kim Leonard


So looking back at the whole Restaurant Makeover, we’re kind of amazed at how it came together. The Downtown Fresno Foundation is a baby nonprofit in its first year of operation (Remember, DFF is an offshoot of DFP, which has been around for 5 years now.) so we didn’t have a gigantic swimming pool of money to just jump into, Scrooge McDuck style.

So how, starting from the ground up, did we manage to pull off a gorgeous Restaurant Makeover on Kikku Japanese Food?

Let’s just say we got by with a little help from our friends. We have some incredible sponsors who joined forces to make this makeover possible. So here’s a little shout out to them, because darn it, they’re great!


Luxe Creative Strategies

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Tasked with rebranding Kikku, Luxe Creative Strategies knocked it outta the park. The logo ties in the chrysanthemum, or Kiku in Japanese. Along with a new logo, a new website was rolled out and it is clean, gorgeous and easy to navigate, with menu photos to make you salivate. The drool stains on my keyboard are real.

Fresno Regional Foundation/ Next Generation Philanthropy


The Fresno Regional Foundation’s Next Generation Philanthropy functions like a class- a group of young philanthropic-minded folks meet for 12 months and learn how to put their money where their hearts are, in an informed and thoughtful way. We’re honored that they considered exterior improvements for our Restaurant Makeover winner a worthwhile cause for their grant. Look how awesome the new paint and signage looks!

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Core Business Interiors


I love this “Go team!” selfie, taken at the Reveal Party. Without the guidance of Core Business Interiors, we would have been staring at white walls saying “Now what?” We got so lucky when they jumped on board as a sponsor. They listened to Silvia and Andri’s ideas and helped them envision what the new Kikku would look and feel like. Just getting the plans from them was a rush, and the finished product was obviously on point.

Custom Drywall


We had no clue that drywall could be such a gamechanger. Little touches here and there made a world of difference in the way Kikku looked. Just take a look at these photos of the panel with windows versus solid. Now this little storage nook looks clutter-free!

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Your Central Valley has been with us since step one, documenting and pushing the entire Restaurant Makeover story out to the masses. Just think about it- two stations  in one! It definitely softens the blow of having to be up at 4 AM to do KSEE Sunrise- while in between segments, we were able to Chat with Joey and Julie on CBS47 This Morning! In addition to the news spots, Kikku is also going to be getting a TV commercial and a digital ad campaign, among other awesome perks!

Innovation Commercial Flooring

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I never thought it would be possible to fall in love with a flooring company, nor did I think I would ever come to a point in my life where baseboards excited me, but thanks to Innovation Commercial Flooring I can now say both of these things as fact. They’re amazing to work with, and have been on board and at every sponsor meeting with Kikku every step of the way, even if

Central Valley IT Solutions

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Central Valley IT Solutions upped the ambiance factor with sophisticated lighting and a little mood music coming in through the ceiling. OoOOOoh!

Connecting the Dots Network

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Passionate about getting people connected to other people, the husband-wife team behind Connecting the Dots Network were just as hands-on with the makeover as they were in promoting it through their Facebook and webshow. We knew we could always count on them to show up for every step along the way!

Collins Communications


I love this photo of Edna Collins mid-laugh. Edna came to us through our connections with PRSA and is working with Andri and Silvia to become more confident in front of the news camera. She’s been active in the makeover process from the first Out To Lunch, on.

Special thanks to

Cresco Restaurant Equipment & Supply Co.


Sunnyside Trophy

Kenny Schoelen

Andres Cardona


We so appreciate these rock stars who made Restaurant Makeover possible! Thank you!


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