Uchi Restaurant Group is getting a facelift — and it includes a fresh new concept.
On Tuesday, the acclaimed group announced that, moving forward, it will be known as Hai Hospitality. The most exciting part of the release? A tease that there's a new Austin concept in the works.
Details on the new project are scarce, but we do know it will be located at 2115 S. Lamar Blvd., across from Black Sheep Lodge. The group projects it will open in the next 12 to 18 months.
As for the new identity, the term "Hai," a Japanese word for "yes" or "understood," has become a commonly used phrase in the group's kitchens. "Over the years, staff all began to respond 'hai,'" said chef/founder Tyson Cole in the statement. "It just happened organically company wide, so this feels like a natural progression for us."
It signals an evolution for the group, said Sam Martin, brand and creative director. "In many ways, Hai Hospitality gives us permission to not only be Uchi in Austin. We plan to have a lot of fun with that."
The company's first foray outside of Asian cuisine, Austin's St. Philip Pizza Parlor, abruptly closed last fall. Hai Hospitality currently operates three Uchi locations, plus Uchiko in Austin and Top Knot in Dallas.