From: Elizabeth Berger Associates, L.L.C.
Published: Tue Jun 07 2005

CHICAGO, IL (February 2005) – The Sun is shining, the sun is setting, the moon is brilliant ... Whatever time of day or night, there is reason to dine beneath the beautiful skylight, skyline and skydeck of Chicago. And what more glamorous locale to do so than at Chicago’s swank Japonais, which offers a 60-seat Outdoor Patio along Larrabee Street overlooking the hustle and bustle of Chicago Avenue; and re-open its 50-seat Riverwalk Café located off the restaurant’s sultry Lounge, which will now be enclosed with glass doors allowing for year-round dining.

Located on the western edge of downtown Chicago along the River at 600 W. Chicago, Japonais has received local and national acclaim from critics and dining connoisseurs alike since opening in fall 2003. Japonais is an extraordinary new concept offering the best of new Asian cuisine in an exciting, yet intimate setting. Developed by Partners Miae Lim, Rick Wahlstedt and Jonathan Segal, Japonais operates under the culinary direction of a dynamic team of two Executive Chefs, including Gene Kato and Jun Ichikawa, who oversee the Hot and Cold menu items respectively. Rounding out the partnership is world-renowned designer Jeffrey Beers (Jeffrey Beers International); and Director of Operations, Sandy Park.

The 60-seat Outdoor Patio on Larrabee Street will open April 1, 2005, for Lunch Monday through Friday, and Dinner seven days a week. Guests will enjoy selections from the restaurant’s full menu, which will be served during regular dining hours. Reservations are recommended.

The Riverwalk Café, will open its doors and feature additional tables and further space along the promenade. According to Sandy Park, Director of Operations for Japonais, "We are pleased to open the Riverwalk Café as it has been one of the most popular areas of the restaurant. As the Café is located on the Lower Level, off the Bar and Lounge, we have now expanded our space and brought our guests closer to the water, one of Chicago’s most treasured appeals." Just steps from the dock, (located south of Japonais on the north branch of the Chicago River), we welcome sailors to enjoy the ambience of the restaurant while remaining in view of their boat. The Riverwalk Café will be open for Dinner seven days a week. Guests will enjoy hot appetizers, Chef’s Special Maki Rolls and other Lounge menu items during regular dining hours; and cocktails and light appetizers Monday through Thursday, until 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday until 11:30 p.m.; and Sunday, until 10 p.m.

Located in one of Chicago’s most famous buildings, the former headquarters of Montgomery Ward, the interior design of Japonais distinctly melds industrial Japan with European elegance. When conceptualizing the space, Beers deemed two variables of utmost importance: First, the grandeur and authenticity of the space; and second, the complementary relationship between the space and the cuisine. Purity and serenity are umbrella themes, which characterize both the design and the menu.

To offer the best of both worlds, the partners of Japonais chose a team of co-chefs, including Chef Ichikawa, who oversees the restaurant’s astounding sushi selection as well as all cold items; and Chef Kato, who continually refines and augments his astounding selection of hot specials. In addition to Soups, Salads, Hot and Cold Appetizers, Entrees and a full Sushi menu, guests enjoy an extensive wine, sake and cocktail list.

Japonais is open seven days a week. Lunch is served Monday through Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner begins at 5 p.m. daily, and is open until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday; until 11:30 p.m. Friday through Saturday; and until 10 p.m. Sunday. The Lounge stays open until 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday; until 2 a.m. Thursday through Friday; and until 3 a.m. Saturday. Smoking is permitted in the Lounge. Valet parking is available for lunch and dinner, with discounted rates available for lunch. For reservations or further information, please call 312.822.9600 or visit
Company: Elizabeth Berger Associates, L.L.C.
Contact Name: Rebecca Kussmann/Elizabeth Berger
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 312.397.8441/312.397.8444

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