Junkichi Robata Izakaya, the Capitol Hill restaurant specializing in two distinct Japanese dining experiences, is closed. A new restaurant called Rondo will take over the space.
According to the Junkichi’s website, the closure was expected to span “several months” and is “due to renovations.” But that is apparently no longer the case. Eater reached out to restaurant representatives, but did not hear back by press time. The nature of the closing remains unclear.
Junkichi (224 Broadway E) opened last April in the space formerly occupied by Einstein Bagels, just steps away from the Capitol Hill light rail station. The menu included izakaya, or informal, pub-style food, and robata, referring to food grilled over carbon-charcoal binchotan. The menu leaned heavily on grilled meats, including free-range chicken skewers, hotate scallop, Kobe beef ribeye, and pork sausage. A large range of appetizers includes amberjack carpaccio and Junkichi’s signature dish, black cod with miso, while box sushi, signature sushi rolls, and sashimi were also available.
Another notable service feature was the use of Sota, a robot already in operation at the Hokkaido Ramen Santouka chain, also run by Junkichi owner Plenty USA, Inc. The robot used facial recognition to remember returning diners. Diners could interact with the robot via smartphone app, requesting menu recommendations.
UPDATED: October 16, 2019, 10:48 a.m.: Junkichi is closed permanently, with a new restaurant called Rondo taking over the location. This piece reflects that development.