Japanese gastropub to open in Jacksonville Beach

The owners of Bento Asian Kitchen + Sushi will be bringing a new concept when Izakaya Ko opens in June.

A rendering of the restaurant Izakaya Ko planned at 1198 Beach Blvd. in Jacksonville Beach.
A rendering of the restaurant Izakaya Ko planned at 1198 Beach Blvd. in Jacksonville Beach.
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The recently closed Bento Asian Kitchen + Sushi in Jacksonville Beach will become Izakaya Ko in June.

The new restaurant at 1198 Beach Blvd. will be a Japanese gastropub that serves sushi, yakitori (skewered and grilled meats) and Japanese small plates, owners Jimmy and Johnny Tung said a May 16 news release.

No opening date was announced.

The Jacksonville Beach Bento, along with the location at 50 Riverside Ave. in Brooklyn, closed in May. The Brooklyn Bento will remain closed.

Bento at 4860 Big Island Drive, No. 1, in The Markets at Town Center remains open.

The Tung brothers, who own Bento, are partnering with chef Adi Wiwaran for Izakaya Ko. He is former head chef at Norikase in Tinseltown.

Norikase, at 9734 Deer Lake Court No. 11, also is owned by the Tung brothers and was previously a Bento.

Izakaya Ko will seat 60 and have a 10-seat sushi bar. It will be open daily for dinner only. Hours are 5-9:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5-10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Izakaya translates to “stay-drink-place,” according to the release. It is a Japanese social place, much like a British pub.

The menu includes a variety of Asian beers and sakes. 

“We were inspired by Jax Beach’s laid back beach vibes and decided to open this concept near the beach. This will be Jacksonville’s first izakaya-focused restaurant,” Johnny Tung said in the release.

A yakitori plate (skewered and grilled meats) at Izakaya Ko.



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