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Inside the Big Red Doors: Yakitori Kona's Opening Day

September 28, 2023

Inside the Big Red Doors: Yakitori Kona's Opening Day

"Welcome! Sit Anywhere You Like!"

Swing open the big red doors of Yakitori Kona and you will hear the excited chatter of patrons and bartenders spill out onto the corner of Virginia Ave and North Highland. On some nights, you will hear one joyful voice rise above the rest.

“Welcome! Sit anywhere you like,” the designer and creator of Yakitori Kona, Alex Kinjo, exclaims as he greets new guests walking through the doors of the latest concept to open in Virginia Highland. Since opening on September 5, the place has been packed. You look around in hopes of finding a spot. Seating is “first come, first serve” so you feel lucky when you see some folks signing their check and vacating their seats at the bar. The bar is buzzing and in no time at all you are greeted by the head bartender, Sebastian Greco, who recommends his favorite signature cocktail, the “All the Feels.” He is excited to let you know that all of their ingredients are made in house.

As you wait for your drink you look around and observe red and black everywhere. Just as you notice the vibrant colors, the grill behind the bar roars to life. The shishito peppers are sizzling and you can’t wait to order. Origami hangs in each of the big front windows and the light fixtures look like bird cages. Your eyes wander up and you are blown away by a giant piece of art hanging perpendicular with the ceiling, made entirely of sake labels.

“”Welcome in, sit anywhere you like!” More guests are piling in.

The night progresses and the bar stays busy even after the grill has been shut down. This is the new spot for late night drinking in The Highlands. While the best seats are at the bar, Yakitori Kona is fun for everyone. It’s good food and drinks at good prices and a chance to experience a different culture right in your own neighborhood. Enjoy the chicken skewers which include heart, liver, dark meat, breast, and skin. The seaweed salad is out of this world! Yakitori Kona is open until at least midnight so don’t wait to pop in to try an authentic dish right off of the grill or one of their uniquely crafted cocktails or rare sakes.