Junmai Station, a new concept spearheaded by the owners of Seminole Heights' Ebisu Sushi Shack, is opening in downtown Tampa.
The restaurant will be off Kennedy Boulevard on the bottom floor retail level of the new Hyatt House-Hyatt Place across from city Hall. Both Junmai and Ebisu are owned by Akemi Simmons and her husband Ron.
In a phone call with Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Ron said Akemi, who is from Kobe, Japan, wanted to open a more traditional Japanese concept less focused on sushi (although Junmai will have some sushi bowl options). The spot will feature onigiri—aka stuffed rice balls—as its signature dish. Onigiri is a staple food in Japan, and Junmai's versions will lean more western-style stuffings like tuna mayo or Spam, and Ron expects the menu to evolve over time (stock photos of the triangular food above).
Ron told CL that he and Akemi hope to be open Junmai by May 1. The restaurant is currently in the build out phase of opening, and if things go well, hiring would begin in April.
Ebisu has been a staple in the Seminole Heights’ food scene since its opening in August of 2016. The Japanese restaurant won a Best of the Bay Critic’s Pick for Best Veggie SushiRoll the year it opened.
See a list of Tampa Bay’s “Safe & Sound” live music venues here.
Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.
Follow @cl_tampabay on Twitter and subscribe to our newsletter.