#WeCanKatsuDat: Shota Nakajima’s 2019 Capitol Hill plans include deep-fried skewer joint Taku

Chef/owner Shota Nakajima is ready to build something new (Image: @takuseattle)

Though the flow of Capitol Hill restaurant openings in the neighborhood’s waves of new construction has slowed, there are still a few spaces to fill before the next wave of development hits. Neighborhood chef/owner Shota Nakajima is preparing to fill one of those gaps with his take on Osaka street food.

Taku, a kushikatsu deep-fried skewer joint, is slated to join the Pike Motorworks development in the new year. City of Seattle permit paperwork shows the 1,300-square-foot bar and eatery will snuggle into the E Pike face of the preservation incentive-boosted development between furniture and design retailer Arden Home and the Capitol Hill outpost of the Portland-based Salt and Straw ice cream chain. The seven-story development opened for residents and its centerpiece Redhook Brew Lab in 2017.

The arrival of Nakajima’s project spells the end for now for interest in Capitol Hill from Portland sustainable sushi chain Bamboo. The company had been lined up for one of its flagship Bamboo locations in The Cove building on E Pike, a space now moving forward with Chuan on Capitol Hill, a modern Szechuan Chinese concept. Taku, meanwhile, is slated to take the space in Pike Motorworks where Bamboo’s poke concept Quickfish had been planned.

Nakajima’s 2019 project is planned to feature the “deep-fried skewers of Osaka, Japan, featuring sticks of meat, fish, vegetables, and more.” You can also expect late hours, no-frills cocktails, on tap, and, of course, a secret menu.

The new concept will be a simpler approach than Nakajima’s mostly complex Adana at 15th and Pine. His tenure in the neighborhood began in 2015 with his namesake Naka restaurant and a focus on kaiseki and its seasonally focused, multi-course meals. He rebooted the concept to become Adana in early 2017 and make his food more accessible and more affordable. Through the changes, the 15th and Pine venue’s bar remained a comfortable retreat with favorite katsu sandwiches and quality drinking food like yakisoba. With Taku, Nakajima appears ready to take things down another comfortable level and set in on a project that is much easier to scale.

Taku is slated to open by spring of 2019 at 714 E Pike. You can learn more — eventually — at takuseattle.com.


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