Junkichi debuted last month on Broadway but CHS wasn’t able to attend the grand opening so here’s a look inside.
With a menu also featuring Japanese Izakaya like sukiyaki and seared tuna, the centerpiece of Junkichi are the skewers — if its a fine meat, fresh fish, or seasonal vegetable, Junkich will stick it on the skewer and cook it for you over binchotan charcoal and hardwood on the robata grill at the middle of the action.
“What sets us apart is that we keep things very pure and simple,” Edward Wintermyer of Junkichi tells us.
“We let the food speak for itself. If prepared right, it does not need an abundance of sauces, seasonings, or anything else. It’s just a high grade, high quality product cooked to perfection in a simplistic way.”
As for the Junkichi service robot — not robata — you may have heard about in our preview of the restaurant, it’s mostly just a harmless gimmick. But be nice. Its AI is capable of remembering faces.
The robatayaki restaurant project replaces the departed Einstein Bagels chain from the block and is latest investment from the U.S. subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Plenty, Inc. The company also operates the chain of Santouka ramen restaurants in the area. Junkichi’s new home, The Lyric building, meanwhile, has seen its fair share of tenant turnover — though its main tenant Bank of America has provided a solid base. The exit of another giant chain was filled by the United States Postal Service when Officemax bailed on its Lyric home.
Junkichi’s opening also represents the second big Broadway food+drink space to go back into motion in the wake of a 2017 closure. Añejo Restaurant and Tequila Bar opened in April on Broadway in the large space formerly home to Dilettante.
Junkichi is located at 224 Broadway E. and is open 11 AM to 11 PM on weekdays (closed 2 to 4 PM), 11 AM to 11 PM Saturdays, and 11 AM to 9 PM on Sundays. You can learn more at junkichiusa.com.
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