The skewering of meats, open flame of the grill, and even the cute little robot have gone quiet — and nobody is answering the phones. Broadway’s Junkichi Robata Izakaya will be closed for “several months due to renovations” after only one year of business.
The curt message appeared on the restaurant’s website to start the month as the 200-block Broadway E robata grill concept has gone dark. Company representatives haven’t responded to repeated calls and messages about the closure.
The “several months” of closure for a new concept and a brand new restaurant space is an unusual move. Junkichi opened in May of 2018 replacing the departed Einstein Bagels chain from the block. The project is the 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. A call to the U Village location of the ramen joint revealed that it continues to operate.
Signs and messages about closures for renovation can frequently be cover for a business that is on its way to permanent shuttering but CHS hasn’t found the usual signs of a troubled business here like unpaid taxes or rents. But there are also no indications of significant construction work coming to the address. City records show no recent permitting activity for the site.
For now, we’ll take Junkichi and its AI customer service robot at its word and keep our eyes peeled for when this hopefully temporary hole in the Broadway dining scene is patched up and back in business.
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