Newly opened Japanese-style restaurant Izakaya has created a lounge experience – perfect for catching up with friends for a drink after work.
Business partners Adam Johnson and Danny Victory first met at Spark:York – where Michelin-trained chef Danny had Shori, serving Japanese-inspired food, while Adam owned Bohemian Bar.
“Since then we’ve been wanting to try open somewhere together,” said Adam. “We really wanted to try and push a contemporary Japanese restaurant.”
Izakaya officially opened on 1 December and specialises in Japanese-style dishes and cocktails.
The word izakaya is a Japanese phrase and refers to a place where people will go to drink, socialise and eat food after work.
“In Japan it’s a fun mix between almost like a gastropub and a speakeasy,” said general manager Sam Ibbotson. “It’s essentially the same thing as us going to a pub after a shift.”
The reception for Izakaya so far has been “incredible. We’re fully booked most nights.”
Adam, Danny and Sam are also keen to create a lounge experience at Izakaya. The lounge will be a “nice and relaxed and calm” area, and a “good place for people to come and have a drink after work,” said Sam. “Or even to go for a quick drink and maybe some lunch during your lunch break.
“And it’s really just good cocktails.”
The Japanese-inspired cocktail menu includes a Timo Acido, a bergamot and thyme sour (£10), and Paloma-ish (£10), with tequila and grapefruit.
“We’ve got an extensive range of wines and sakes, and a good selection of draught beer and cans as well,” said Adam.
For New Year’s Eve, Danny has created a nine-course tasting menu – with culinary delights such as oysters, wood pigeon and Japanese wagyu. A vegetarian menu is also available.
Izakaya is open Wednesday to Sunday, 12pm to 12am. Food is served 5pm to 9pm Wednesday through Sunday with a lunch service on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, at 12pm to 2:30pm.
The restaurant has created 10 jobs, but are looking to expand in the future.
There is also a discount for hospitality staff, with 20% off drinks, lunch and bar snacks.
“In terms of the hospitality discount and what we want to do with the lounge, it stems very much from the fact that we’ve all worked in hospitality for quite a while,” said Sam.
“There’s a fair amount of bars in town that hospitality staff gravitate towards and they’ve been the same bars for such a long time.
“So if we can become somewhere that’s a little bit different for hospitality staff to go, that’s absolutely ideal.”
For more information about Izakaya or to make a booking, visit their website here.