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Born on 12th Ave, Eltana ready for Japanese expansion

Eltana's 12th Ave home (Image: Eltana)

Eltana’s 12th Ave home (Image: Eltana)

No fooling, they’re celebrating with wasabi schmear. Capitol Hill-born Eltana is expanding to Japan:

A local favorite, Eltana was approached out of the blue by Fujio Food Systems Ltd. of Osaka, Japan. Traded on the Osaka Securities Exchange, Fujio operates nearly 1,000 food and beverage facilities under several brand names in Japan, China, USA and other Asian countries.

Owner and co-founder Stephen Brown sent us word of the deal this week. “Although customers have been asking us for years to expand to the Eastside, I should have asked them to be more specific,” Brown joked in the announcement.

Japanese partner Fujio is presently evaluating sites in Osaka and Tokyo for a flagship launch later this year. While the approximately 2,000 Jews estimated to currently reside in the country might appreciate Eltana’s arrival, the bagel, of course, has agnostic appeal.

CHS first reported on Brown’s plans for a Montreal-style, wood-fired bagel shop on 12th Ave back in 2010. The concept was a hit with sales of more than 2,000 bagels a day in the first year. There are now four Eltanas across Seattle with plans for more around the region.

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One thought on “Born on 12th Ave, Eltana ready for Japanese expansion

  1. Eltana was the perfect example of a restaurant that dared to try something different and nailed it, but then upon expanding, the quality went down to the point where basically, they are now coasting on name recognition, which isn’t sustainable in the long run.

    Whether Eltana’s recipe didn’t scale to a larger operation or they cut costs and quality of ingredients in an attempt to maximize profits, the damage is done. They’ll probably do OK initially, but their fate will ultimately be similar to other ventures that expanded at the expense of the quality of their product.