Philadelphia, PA

Izakaya by Yanaga Set to Open in Fishtown

Marilyn Johnson

Glu Hospitality and Executive Chef/Partner Kevin Yanaga announce the opening of Izakaya by Yanaga in Fishtown at 1832 Frankford Avenue.

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Kevin Yanaga of Izakaya by Yanaga in Fishtown Will Open in September.Eddy Marenco

Yanaga brings over 10 years of experience in the top sushi restaurants in the region, including Izakaya at Borgata, Double Knot, Pod, Morimoto, and Zama. After working with Stephen Starr, Michael Schulson, and some of the biggest names in the business, Yanaga will now open his first restaurant as Executive Chef and Partner.

"I am proud to team up with Glu Hospitality for my very first restaurant," said Yanaga.

The new restaurant will have two concepts under one roof in 2,500 square feet of space. First up, Izakaya by Yanaga will open as a more casual, neighborhood experience with a robust menu focusing on affordable small plates, hot and cold dishes, and a comfortable vibe. Later in the fall, the second more upscale concept Omakase by Yanaga will open with a chef's tasting room that seats 12 with higher-end items, dishes not done currently in Philadelphia, and direct access to Chef Yanaga.

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Izakaya by Yanaga will feature two concepts under one roof.Eddy Marenco

The premium omakase experience will include an expanded sake and Japanese scotch and whiskey program, plus exclusive cocktails pairings. Additionally, there will be six beer and cider beers on draft and in bottles and cans. The beer program will focus on Japanese beers, locally made craft beers, unique ciders, seltzers, and a few American favorites. The bar program is rounded out by the wine program, with around a dozen selections available by the glass and bottle.

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Premium cocktails at Izakaya by Yanaga in FishtownEddy Marenco
Yanaga explains, "I wanted to create a new restaurant that is friendly and approachable, yet has a second side with elevated food and drink selections not typically seen in our area. We want to be both a neighborhood restaurant for locals, as well as a culinary destination for people traveling across and into the region."

Izakaya will operate in the 25-foot long front bar and front dining room with around 60 seats. Omakase will operate the private dining room in the back with around 12 seats, located through the double doors in the middle of the restaurant.

For his Chef de Cuisine, Yanaga has tapped Tom LoMonte, who most recently came from Zama Restaurant. LaMonte is excited to showcase his own takes on traditional Japanese cuisine while working side by side with Chef Yanaga to offer both experiences with casual to elevated options.

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Kevin Yanaga and Tom LoMonte of Izakaya by Yanaga in FishtownEddy Marenco

For interior design, Glu Hospitality has tapped the creative talents of John Christinzio and Quest Design. Izakaya aims to create a modern and polished sleek industrial aesthetic that features reclaimed woods, natural and earth tones, dark lighting, carefully-placed pops of color, exposed brick, marble top tables and bar, metalworking by Taylor Curtis (Curtis Custom Fab), and artwork by local artist/singer Patty Cash.

The doors will open this coming weekend for a Labor Day preview from Thursday to Saturday. Then, after a break for Labor Day and final touches, the restaurant will open for regular daily hours on Thursday, September 9th.

Hours for this week are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm nightly. Hours on and after Thursday, September 9th are Wednesdays to Sundays, from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm nightly, and closed on Mondays.

Marilyn Johnson is a freelance food and travel writer covering the food and drink scene of Philadelphia, South Jersey, and beyond. Food news and travel tips: phillygrubtrips@gmail.com.

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Marilyn Johnson is a Philadelphia area based food and travel writer focusing on the food scenes in the Greater Philadelphia region. Email phillygrub@gmail.com for Philly area news; phillygrubtrips@gmail.com for travel tips and opportunities.

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