JINYA Holdings Inc. — the holding company behind Los Angeles-based and Tokyo-founded JINYA Ramen Bar — is in the middle of a massive national and international expansion. Currently with 49 restaurants in its portfolio and 15 more opening by the end of 2022, JINYA wants to expand its reach and versatility.
The latest concept joining the restaurant group is LBD Japanese Bar & Lounge, which is opening its first location in Honolulu, Hawaii on Aug. 10. The lounge will have a more upscale, bar program-focused feel than other JINYA concepts and will serve izakaya and drinks in a relaxed setting.
“We have lower tables and chairs to create more of a bar and lounge ambience,” JINYA Founder and CEO Tomo Takahashi said through a translator. “On Friday nights, we will bring in DJs to create more of a party atmosphere.”
LBD Japanese Bar & Lounge will serve sushi, and Japanese small plates like edamame, shishito peppers, crispy rice tuna, creamy shrimp tempura, and Japanese-style tacos. The bar will be stocked with Japanese whiskey, gin and vodka, with the menu playing with classic Japanese flavor palates like yuzu. In addition, two more JINYA concepts will be coming to Honolulu: a JINYA Ramen Bar and Robata JINYA, which serves skewers, sushi, ramen and izakaya.
Eventually, JINYA will want to scale the LBD concept and open LBD Japanese Bar & Lounge locations in Hollywood, New York City, and other major urban centers around the country.
But LBD is not the only restaurant JINYA is working on. The team is also bringing two new concepts to life: One concept will feature handrolls and yakitori skewers on the menu, and will be coming to Houston in spring 2023, and the other concept will be Shirodane, a Japanese bakery coming to Hollywood and Hawaii in the second half of 2023. By mid-2023, TK hopes to have 25 more restaurants open, more than 1.5 times the restaurant group’s current portfolio size.
But how have they been able to scale so quickly? For starters, in recent years, Takahashi has had to make plans to simplify operations so that they can scale more easily, especially with the group’s flagship concept, JINYA Ramen Bar.
“To be able to simplify operations we focused on ramen so that the number of menu items could be reduced,” Takahashi said, through a translator. “From the first location I opened, I began thinking of opening more restaurants and to make them scalable I needed to make the menu anyone can make and set them up with vendors to create consistency.”
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