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RIP: Hook Atsavinh, a great chef, a bad poker player

in The Bay and the 'Burg by
ST. PETERSBURG — Hook Atsavinh, a popular area sushi chief and owner of Hook’s Sushi Bar and Thai Food, has died of unknown causes, his family said.

Atsavinh, 44, is a well known Pinellas fixture, having worked at 9 Bangkok Restaurant and Sushi Rock Grill before opening his own restaurant at 1210 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. N St. in St. Petersburg.

His family said Atsavinh had been healthy but felt inceasingly ill over the last month. He was admitted to Bayfront Medical Center on Saturday, where doctors diagnosed a urinary infection. He died on Tuesday at the hospital.

His death comes at a time when Atsavinh was feeling a sense of accomplishment in achieving his long-held dream of having a family and owning a successful restaurant, said his wife, Michelle. “This was his dream,” she said.
I knew Hook very well and I will miss him greatly. Of course, I have been eating at his restaurant for years, but our friendship went beyond that. He used to “hook” me up all the time when we trade food between Parkshore Grill and his sushi restaurant. I never paid for a bill there, despite the fact that he always overwhelmed me with his generosity.
I also knew Hook from the poker tables, and that was where I saw him last. We we’re playing at $1-$2 no-limit game and he was just a crazy ‘raisin’ Asian’ throwing hundreds at each pot, losing with great hands, cleaning up with shit hands he had no business hanging on to. He knocked me out when I had A-J and hit top pair and he some worthless bottom two-pair. And here was Hook in a nutshell, he gave me back most of my money. He wasn’t doing it for the cash, it was just all fun and games to him. God, I’m gonna miss seeing you Hook.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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