Ascend Hospitality Group opens AQUA TERRA Steak + Sushi in City Creek

Ascend Hospitality Group (AHG) made its first foray into the Utah market with Famous Dave’s BBQ locations in 2018, and most recently with the first-ever Famous Dave’s Quick ’Que Drive-Thru in South Salt Lake. AQUA TERRA Steak + Sushi, opening at City Creek Center on December 1, represents the company’s next level of commitment to the Utah community, says founding partner, president, and CEO Elaina Morris.

“We don’t just bring restaurants to the regions we believe are great places to do business, we bring our philosophy of ‘service before self,’” Morris says. “We are committed to investing in the communities where we operate through job creation and an intense focus on meaningful engagement with our employees, at the table and within each community we serve.”

Headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., AHG is a Black-and-female-led hospitality group that provides world-class hospitality and culinary experiences with restaurants throughout Washington, Oregon, Utah, and Arizona. AQUA TERRA Steak + Sushi, located on the west side of the Main Street bridge at City Creek Center, will deliver a curated and intentional dining experience in a sleek Art-Deco-inspired atmosphere. Premium steak and wild game cuts, a wide range of sushi, omakase and crispy rice, an array of classic and sake cocktails, and wine offerings are all combined to create, what Morris calls, “next-level, experiential dining, which is the AHG difference.”

AQUA TERRA Steak + Sushi’s Tomahawk Rib-Eye.

“Bottom line, we offer an experience,” she says. “As they walk in, our guests instantly create memories as they look around and see the special touches and the atmosphere we’ve created in one restaurant setting. Our goal is to offer something exceptional, whether it’s a romantic evening for two or a multi-generational family gathering.”  

But with this latest restaurant, Morris will also continue to bring her company’s larger vision for philanthropy through the group’s service arm, AHG Cares. Through AHG Cares, the company hones its philanthropic and community efforts through various public and private programs and collaborations, with an emphasis on raising awareness for, or directly providing, aid to students and student-athletes in need. For example, last August, the company partnered with Amazon, the Why Not You Foundation, and international pop star Ciara to provide backpacks to over 500 underprivileged children to go back to school with confidence.

“The way we interact with the community is the way we run our restaurants,” she says. “Our core values are ‘you matter, team matters, and service matters and how we show up for our guests, our employees and our community exemplify our mission.” 

AQUA TERRA Steak + Sushi’s Nigiri.

Morris says AHG is actively seeking community partners and nonprofits to work together on fundraising efforts and community contributions. 

AQUA Terra Steak + Sushi opens on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 50 S. Main St., Ste. 168, in City Creek Center. For more information visit,  

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