The pandemic continues to upend the restaurant and bar industry, with the latest shakeup impacting the original Portland izakaya.
On Sept. 1, Yakuza—the eatery known for its Japanese drinking snacks and splendid patio—will hand over the keys to its space at 5411 NE 30th Ave., which it has occupied since 2007. The new restaurant, Cyrus Ichiza, is a spinoff of Ichiza Kitchen, located in the Goose Hollow neighborhood, that serves pan-Asian cuisine, fine teas and sake.
Before you go mourning the Yakuza burger, the restaurant is not closing, just moving—and not terribly far.
Owner Dayna McErlean is opening Yakuza Ghost Kitchen one block away in the Nonna Tavern storefront. The casual Italian bar halted nightly dinner service in 2019 to reboot as a multiuse catering kitchen. But once COVID-19 made those sorts of gatherings risky, the party bookings and educational workshops dried up.
Even though Yakuza's new name suggests it will offer delivery and takeout only, the site will allow self-serve seating outside on the 30th Avenue plaza.
There's still time to visit Yakuza in the home it has occupied for 14 years. The restaurant is open seven days a week for patio dining through Aug. 31.