Exclusive: Design Concepts for New Japanese Restaurant Coming to Barracks Row

YAJU Ramen/Izakaya – Concept view at ramen bar.

Concept view at communal table.

Concept view at booths.

Tom O’Brian, second from left, appears before ANC6B ABC Committee. (l-r) Redrocks Attorney Matthew Minora, O’Brian, Commissioner Brian Ready, Resident Member Raman Santra, Chair Chander Jayaraman, Commissioner Jennifer Samolyk, Resident Member Katherine Szafran, and Commissioner Jerry Sroufe.  At center is restaurateur Tom Johnson, who appeared before to committee in support of a license renewal for the Hawk & Dove. 

Exclusive:  Design Concepts for New Japanese Restaurant Coming to Barracks Row

By Larry Janezich

Last night at ANC6B’s Alcohol Beverage Committee, James O’Brian discussed his plan to open a traditional Japanese ramen restaurant and cocktail bar at 525 8th Street, SE, a space formerly occupied by ANXO Cidery and Pintxos Bar, and before that, Phase 1, DC’s legendary lesbian bar.

O’Brian, who owns three Redrocks restaurants in the area, said he was approached by New York City investors looking to get into DC’s hospitality scene.  That was fortuitous, since O’Brian was considering opening a new venue.  A search for a location led him to Barracks Row.

The restaurant – YAJU Ramen/Izakaya – will feature small plates (izakaya), ramen noodle soups, and Japanese cocktails.

The first floor will have 69 seats and another 20 to 30 at the ramen bar in the basement. A summer garden anticipates 25 seats in back.

The place will require an extensive (and expensive) build out and O’Brien hopes to open by next March.

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