At the beginning of June we were contacted by Ryan (pictured above) telling us about his upcoming Japanese curry project on Jones Street in the space where popular Eden’s Mediterranean Turkish and Greek Restaurant used to be. It is to be a called Kare-Ken, which in Japanese means Curry House and yes, you’ve guessed it, it will specialize in Japanese curry served at the counter. There will also be a “curry portal” takeout window for quick access to the goodness.
After nearly a year looking for a space with his two business partners, Ryan was so excited to share his plans that he even sent us the future floorplan of the space and picture renderings of the interior and exterior design. He told us their plan was to be open by August 15.
A few days later we met up with Ryan who showed us the construction in progress, and we even took some photos. Around the same time we also got word of the space right across the street starting construction to become a new restaurant too, a project by one of the owners of the Salama Halal butcher shop around the corner and, coincidentally, the former chef from Eden’s Mediterranean, Vahit Besir. They had plans to also open around August 15.
Of course, as anyone familiar with how this permit-heavy, NIMBY-laden city treats small business owners in general and restaurants in particular could have guessed, the opening of both restaurants got delayed. But Grill House Mediterranean, as it ended up being called, opened a few weeks ago while Kare-Ken is still waiting. And so is the whole neighborhood, as we’ve been receiving emails asking about the fate of their restaurant as well as questions in the street from impatient locals.
Ryan has been keeping us posted, explaining how they’ve had to deal with several ventilation and electrical issues that have been holding up the permitting process. Then last month, when they’d passed all the obstacles, they were told they needed to fix the sidewalk for better accessibility to their restaurant. At one point Ryan told us, frustrated, “I feel the people who live on the block have more sympathy for us than the City”. We can only sympathize and hope that they’ll be finally opening in the next few days.
While they iron out their website, you can follow Kare-Ken latest developments via Twitter @karekenSF