JINYA Holdings
JINYA Holdings

JINYA Grows with Diversified Approach

JINYA Holdings

Tomo Takahashi

Last fall, JINYA Holdings decided to fill a 10,000-square-foot restaurant space in Hawaii with three of its brands: JINYA Ramen Bar, Robata JINYA, and its newest concept, LBD Japanese Bar & Lounge.

LBD offers a number of Japanese alcoholic beverages and signature cocktails, like the Frozen Spicy Toki (Toki Japanese Whisky, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, ginger syrup, passionfruit syrup, grapefruit juice, and lime juice) and the Lelelele Sour (Nobushi Japanese Whisky, Disaronno Originale, pineapple juice, and cinnamon syrup). The food menu is headlined by kushiyaki (skewered chicken), sashimi, sushi, and hand rolls.

CEO Tomo Takahashi shares the scoop on LBD and what’s next for JINYA.

Points of differentiation

JINYA’s concepts all focus on authentic Japanese culture, but like every culture, there are several facets to celebrate. Our ramen concept is an approachable introduction to traditional Japanese fare. Robata JINYA serves items from a particular type of Japanese grill, like skewers and izakaya.

LBD focuses on traditional Japanese small plates and offers an authentic sushi menu. It also brings a nightlife ambiance, with DJs on-site on Fridays.

A Spirited Start

We wanted to offer our guests a slightly more upscale offering. LBD features lower tables and chairs to create a lounge feel, and we felt having a strong cocktail program would pair well with the atmosphere. It was our very first time working on a bar concept, so creating the concept and menu was not easy. We spent lots of time recreating the concept and have been working on improvements even after the opening.

Whisky’s Time to Shine

The special taste of premium whisky, such as Hibiki, Yamazaki, and Hakushu, have finally begun to be acknowledged by the world. Lycheetini and Smokey Wokashi are our two signature cocktails. Customers can enjoy not only the taste, but the performance such as ‘bubble’ and ‘smoke’ that are executed right in front of the guests.

room to grow

LBD is currently located in Honolulu. We have seen wonderful support from the local area. We hope to expand into Hollywood and New York, among other large cities. But first, we want to spread the LBD brand to all of Hawaii. And next, we are considering something different such as the rooftop seating.

A multiconcept mashup

Regarding [more multiconcept locations], we’re not sure moving forward, but if we find a really big-sized restaurant site, there is a possibility. We don’t know how many concepts we will put in it, but it could be JINYA Ramen Bar and LBD, or Robata JINYA and LBD.

Forever Innovating

We have two new concepts. Saijo is  hand rolls and kushiyaki, which is like a yakitori, a skewer. It’s a really simple menu. We already have a site in midtown Houston and are going to open in spring or summer. The second concept is Shirogane Bakery, which we’ll open in L.A. once we find a good site.