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Friday, December 6, 2019

Izumi, a Japanese Izakaya-Style Kitchen, to Open Inside Takashima Records in the Grove in 2020

Posted By on Fri, Dec 6, 2019 at 10:35 AM

click to enlarge Takashima Records, a vinyl-themed cocktail lounge, is slated to open in the Grove next year. - FLICKR/ NINAC26
  • Flickr/ Ninac26
  • Takashima Records, a vinyl-themed cocktail lounge, is slated to open in the Grove next year.

Next spring, vinyl-themed cocktail lounge Takashima Records (4041 Chouteau Avenue) will debut in the Grove — and now, you can look forward to tasty eats to match the delicious drinks and vinyl bops.

Located inside the Chroma complex near the corner of Chouteau and Manchester avenues, Takashima Records is the brainchild of Parlor owners Sean Baltzell and Casey Colgan. For the bar and lounge's food program, the business partners are collaborating with St. Louis-area restaurateur Kurt Bellon on a concept called Izumi. Bellon is currently a member of the Global Foods Group, which owns the King & I, Chao Baan, Oishi Sushi and United Provisions, and is general manager at Chao Baan.

Inspired by the Japanese style of dining known as izakaya — small dishes for sharing and snacking at a tavern — Izumi will "celebrate Japanese culture through food with a pair of menus that immerse St. Louis in the izakaya experience," according to a release. The concept's name, which translates to "fountain" or "spring," was chosen as Bellon has family heritage in the Japanese city of the same name.

“I feel like there is a desert when it comes to authentic Japanese foods,” Bellon said in the release. “I want people to know that our culture offers more than sushi and ramen to the dining landscape. The Izumi concept is a reflection of heritage and a celebration of the many backgrounds that come together here."

Izumi will serve both dinner and late-night menus designed as an "upscale interpretation of traditional Japanese plates, presented in ways the St. Louis food connoisseur has yet to see." The menu, which will change with the seasons, will feature dishes such as fresh sashimi, sashimi bowls, poke bowls and onigiri, a house specialty, with ume boshi, tuna mayo, ikura, shiokombu, kanimayo, grilled salmon and more.

“The Izumi kitchen is meant to be a tasty oasis where visitors are inspired to try new things,” Bellon said.

When the kitchen transitions to late-night hours, the menu will shift to a konbini-style concept (in Japan, konbinis are convenience stores or minimarts that serve far better and fresher food than what we're familiar with in the States). At Izumi, the konbini menu will showcase "lesser known Japanese comfort foods and flavorful small-plate discoveries."

Baltzell, who was first inspired to open Takashima Records after an extended trip to Japan, says he believes that Izumi will perfectly complement the focus and vibe of the upcoming bar and lounge.

“Introducing the Izumi kitchen with Kurt [Bellon] and the Global Foods Group at Takashima Records just adds another layer to an environment we think will feed your sense of discovery,” Baltzell said. “We’re creating a place where you can just leave your phone at the door, sit with your friends and enjoy a unique mix of travel-inspired flavors from food and drink to music, art and cross-cultural influence.”

Follow Liz Miller on Twitter at @lizzaymillah. We are always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected]
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