Japanese Tapas Restaurant, Izakaya Seki, Applies for a Liquor License at 1117 V St, NW

Back in June ’11 we learned of plans for a Japanese tapas style restaurant coming to the old Spotts barbershop which has reopened on the 2nd floor of 809 Florida Ave, NW. At the time there were still a few concerns of whether or not they’d be able to open up at 1117 V St, NW – but I’m happy to see that they’ve now applied for a liquor license. According to the application the restaurant will be called Izakaya Seki:

“A neighborhood Japanese restaurant serving small tapas, traditional Japanese home cooking, fish, vegetable, and meats.”

I am so pyshed this project is moving forward. I peeked in the window and there has been a complete gutting of the property. I can’t wait to see how the space looks when the renovations are completed. I’ll be sure to update with more photos as construction progresses.

24 Comment

  • I cannot wait for this to open. Huge win for the neighborhood.

  • ledroittiger

    Go Cizuka!!! She and her father have spent years working on this project and the food will be epic!

  • This is fantastic news! As much as I frequent Sala Thai’s delivery service, it will be nice to have another Asian option in waling distance. And I’m excited that it’s not (from this description) just trying to be another sushi place.

  • Sorry, but IMHO this isn’t a huge win for the neighborhood. It is more restaurant “creep” in the U Street area onto streets that are residential. The owners obviously didn’t want to pay U Street rent, so they found a fixer upper a block over and bought it on the cheap. And yes, there is a huge difference between a barber shop and a restaurant in terms of hours, clientele, and overall impact on the block.

    • What on earth could possibly be wrong with a family business creatively figuring out a way to open up at a lower price while investing in improving a worn out building? sounds like a grumpy monday to me.

    • Its food, cheaper rent means better food prices for us. Its dual zoned, there have been places like this in the past so enjoy it.

  • Hey, if you don’t want it we’ll take it in Petworth. Please!

  • Excited for this as well. Does anyone know if there will be sushi as well. I’m assuming so, but it doesn’t specifically mention it. This area could use a couple of good sushi joints.

  • Yay! Small plates! Finally, there is a place for us large-plate-fearing diners to go! Seriously, though, the more restaurant options the better. So it’s good news.

  • People, it’s not japanese tapas. It’s izakaya, Japan has it’s own hisotry of small palte foods. Maybe I’m sensitive. I freaked out when someone called dim sum “chinese tapas” ARgh!!

    • They called themselves a tapas restaurant in the liquor license… Just saying.

    • More people are familiar with the term/concept of “tapas” than with “izakaya.”

      If I hadn’t lived in Japan for a year and done some Japanese language study, I don’t think I’d have any idea what “izakaya” meant.

  • you’re right. But just because they do, doesn’t mean it’s right. amirite?

  • Japanese Tapas = Japas?

  • Love me some Spanish sushi. This place sounds interesting and, much as I hate the whole small-plate trend, I’ll have to give it a try.

  • Hi, all. Owner here — thanks for all the enthusiasm and support over our project. My father and I are very excited about joining the DC food scene and our objective is to provide a cozy, relaxed place for people to get a casual Japanese meal. As one commentator mentions, I used “tapas” in the description because most people are not familiar with izakayas and the particular style of food served in one. It’s essentially a pub and a very wide range of food will be served. I’d share our menu but it’s still in development. And while my father has a 50 year long career as a sushi chef, we will not be serving sushi. There may be some raw courses but sushi is for the sushi restaurants in town and there are plenty of good options. We wanted to provide something new. I am well aware that we are in a unique position within a primarily residential zone and we will not abuse this privilege. The restaurant will be tiny and we will not have outdoor seating or loud music. We still have a long road and ahead and I look forward to engaging with the neighbors and neighborhood as we move foward! (^_^)

    • Yaaay! Welcome to the neighborhood – sounds like a fantastic plan!

    • Aw come on do some sushi! we could use some great sushi in walking distance. We’ll totally make it worth your while.

    • Welcome to the neighborhood!

      I walk with my dog twice a day by this location and live just 2 blocks away. I am very glad you are renovating this place. I think a bit of extra foot traffic and possibly a little bit of noise is well worth the trade off of having this building renovated. The 2 commercial units were the only eye sores on the block. The Italian Cafe next door has done a good job fixing up their place and I’m glad the other unit will also be fixed up soon. I hope your business does well and you can expand into the Italian Cafe space sooner rather than later. That place isn’t going to last much longer. I *never* see anyone in there. I think probably because it is off the beaten path and just another cheap pizza place. The uniqueness of your concept will surely bring people a block off U, I just don’t think the Italian Cafe could do that.

    • I really can’t wait for you to open. I live a few blocks away and think I will probably be there about once a week (assuming I can get a seat)!

  • This is great news! Welcome to the neighborhood.

  • I can’t wait! Get over it Neighborhood Guy.

  • Cizuka,

    I realize you can’t serve everything but would vote for the following

    Hitachi no nest beer
    Oolong hai ( nothing fancy, oyaji style)
    Warm and cold hand towels

  • Looking forward to many visits! Honestly, I wish DC had more of a blurred distinction between commercial (within reason) and residential space. It adds life and community to the neighborhood as well as increasing traffic which is beneficial for safety. More corner shops and small taverns/restaurants all around!

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