A restaurant chain is opening its doors in Tempe, Arizona
The first Tempe-based restaurant chain to open its doors is opening on Friday.
The restaurant chain, Kogi Kogi, announced on Thursday that it will open its second restaurant in Temporosa, Arizona.
The company said the restaurant is named after the Japanese-American sushi chef and sushi bar owner, Kōji Kogi.
The two restaurants will serve the same menu and be open to the public.
Kogi’s co-founder, Takahiro Yamada, said the two restaurants are designed to appeal to locals and visitors alike.
“There are more sushi bars than restaurants in the country and I wanted to create something that would be a new experience for the community,” Yamada told Al Jazeera.
“This is not a restaurant, but a place to meet friends, socialise and enjoy good sushi.”
Kogi was founded in 1988 and Yamada was born in 1964.
Kōichi Yamada’s son Takahiko started Kogi in 1987 and has served as co-owner since then.
“I always wanted to open a restaurant but I never had the opportunity,” he said.
“Now I finally have it.”
Kōi said it was “a big honor” to be opening its first restaurant in the US.
“It’s a dream come true,” he told Aljeet Mahajan of The New York Times.
“When I started the company, I knew I wanted it to be an open space and I thought that the community would like it too.”
The restaurants are being built by the Yamada family.
The Japanese restaurant chain has a total of 6,000 employees across its 34-county, Japan-based operations.
A restaurant on the main menu has been open in Temptoria, Arizona since December, but the first restaurant opened in Temperosa is a smaller restaurant called Kogi Pachinko.
The second restaurant will be named after Kōiji Kogi and opened in the spring.
The owners of Kogi said they hoped to open the restaurants to “give a new face to Tempe’s Japanese community”.
The restaurants, which are part of a partnership with the Tempe Community Center, will have a focus on the “best sushi” at a high-end level, according to the website for the TemperoSushi restaurant.
Koga Kogi is one of the biggest and most well-known sushi restaurants in Japan.
In the US, it operates restaurants in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC and Seattle, and is also the only sushi chain in the Philippines.