Hai Hospitality’s Uchibā Opening in Downtown Austin
Izakaya-inspired concept now taking reservations
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
11:55AM, Thu. Sep. 21, 2023
Hai Hospitality – the restaurant group that includes Uchi, Uchiko, and Loro – announced today that they are now accepting reservations for the Austin location of Uchibā, which will open its doors to the public on Friday, Oct. 6, at the base of the Google Tower (601 W. Second).
Uchibā translates to “Uchi Bar” from Japanese, and this new venue will be delving deeper into the relationship between cocktails and food.
“The core of Uchibā is inspired by the izakayas that our team visited when traveling through Japan,” said chef and owner Tyson Cole in a Thursday press release. “Like Uchi and Uchiko, we have a sushi bar; cool and hot tastings, but we really lean into items like bao, buns, skewers, and dumplings as a part of the intimate bar experience. We’re pushing the boundaries of cocktails beyond their role as a complement to food.”
The highly anticipated opening sees chef Vaidas Imsha at the helm as chef de cuisine; Rodolfo Martinez as head sushi chef; and executive pastry chef Ariana Quant, who leads the pastry programs for all Uchi family concepts, creating desserts. Jason Kosmas will oversee the beverage program.
Uchibā aims to exceed in all beverage categories, particularly cocktails and spirits. The wine menu features a wide selection of sparkling, red, white, rose/ skin contact, and dessert options, and sake is neatly divided into crisp, floral, earthy, robust, and nigori tasting notes. Beer is led by Japanese favorites and local selections on draft and in bottles and cans. This new destination spot also boasts an array of more than 30 Japanese whiskeys representing a full spectrum of tastes and prices.
Basic, though glorious, details: The total space – a collaboration between Austin firm Sanders Architecture and Hai Hospitality’s in-house design team – measures 5,600 square feet with 4,400 feet inside and 1,200 feet for the exterior seating and waiting areas. There are 117 interior seats, including 21 bar seats, 9 sushi bar seats, and 20 lounge seats – with 42 on the patio. Uchibā will be open Sunday-Thursday, 4-10pm, and Friday-Saturday, 4-11pm, with happy hour specials on Mondays from 5-6:30pm. Reservations can be made at 512/916-4808 or at uchiba.uchirestaurants.com.