Just two weeks following opening, Tomo Japanese Avenue Meals already has repeat prospects.
“One gentleman, he came 3 times in a row previous week,” Co-Owner Penny Mohr explained. “I have one more guy … decide on up each day and attempt various things.”
She and her partner Chris Mohr reopened Tomo Japanese Avenue Meals on Sherman Avenue on April 19, additional than two several years after their preceding two spots shuttered mainly because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomo serves relaxed Japanese food stuff, with menu goods ranging from fried octopus dumplings to spicy pork yaki udon to kimchi ramen.
A little restaurant, Tomo seats about 30 folks. Red lanterns dangle in the kitchen, and photographs of Japan and a prepare map of the metropolis of Nagoya adorn the wall following to superior top tables in the having spot. Diners can put orders by scanning a QR code taped on the table.
Penny Mohr stated inspiration for the cafe arrived from two spots: her cousin’s profitable Japanese dining places in Chicago and a excursion she and her partner took to Japan several years ago.
“We spent 10 days in Tokyo, just so a great deal take pleasure in the food items,” Penny Mohr claimed. “My believed at the time is, ‘Okay, it’s gonna be good if I can convey this street meals … to The us.’”
She reported she and Chris Mohr commenced operating Tomo in 2018. Their two Chicago spots shut briefly when the pandemic began. But as it stretched on, they shut down for excellent and appeared for a new spot.
Whilst the Sherman restaurant is comparable to the prior locations in many strategies, Penny Mohr reported Tomo stopped serving sushi and poke to focus on ramen.
Naywri Wright, a Chicago resident who has been reviewing dining places on line for quite a few a long time, frequented Tomo on opening working day and mentioned he would most undoubtedly return.
“(There’s) beef udon that I want to consider up coming time,” Wright mentioned.
He called the cafe “small, reasonably priced and plentiful.”
For Bienen and SESP fourth-yr Steven Lyu, the restaurant’s proximity to campus and the minimal Asian food items choices around Northwestern created Tomo an desirable selection.
When he went Friday evening, he purchased the karaage. Lyu said the rice in the dish absorbed most of the curry, which he preferred, nevertheless it remaining some liquid powering. He claimed the cafe was quite hectic, with an ambiance equivalent to a small bar.
“It did not sense like a formal cafe, but it also did not sense like a rapidly food stuff cafe. It was type of in involving,” Lyu mentioned. “It’s like a relaxed environment for hanging out, much more chill.”
The cafe is even now dealing with opening pains. Penny Mohr reported Google retains misreporting its hrs, which has been tough to right. Tomo is open up Sunday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The cafe has also been hectic, she stated, for the reason that staff are nevertheless undergoing schooling.
With so substantially opposition in the sector, Penny Mohr explained her principal hope is to endure and then improve. She said she’s been pretty content with customer turnout so much, observing new shoppers and aged pals alike pay a visit to the cafe.
“It’s been going so perfectly,” Penny Mohr stated. “People lined up. And I just — we cannot get people in mainly because we never have enough seats.”
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