Roll with it

Austin’s famed Uchi rolls out new Japanese speakeasy concept downtown

Austin’s famed Uchi rolls out new Japanese speakeasy concept downtown

Uchibā opens next fall. Uchiba Dallas/Facebook

Award-winning local chef and sushi authority Tyson Cole is at it again, hooking Austin’s attention with the announcement of a new “hideaway” bar and restaurant opening downtown, with a focus on Japanese whiskies, small bites, and shareable dishes.

Uchibā, Hai Hospitality’s “Uchi bar” concept that first opened in 2018 upstairs from Uchi Dallas restaurant, will open its second location, at 601 W. Second St. at Block 185, the iconic new property that’s become known as Google Tower. Uchibā is set to open in downtown Austin in the fall of 2022.

Aiming for the feel of an intimate downtown hideaway akin to izakayas, informal bars scattered throughout Japan, Uchibā will feature a full bar highlighting a vast selection of Japanese whiskies and craft cocktails, as well as a food menu of yakitori grill items, Uchi classics, and dishes meant to be shared.

The new downtown bar is sure to become a hot spot for late-night sippers and snackers who crave Ushi-esque delicacies, particularly as it will be open until 11 pm Sunday through Thursday and until midnight Friday and Saturday — an hour later than sister concepts Uchi, Uchiko, and Loro.

Though Hai Hospitality — which has restaurant concepts in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Denver, and Miami — is keeping mum about a specific opening date, the restaurant team, and menu particulars for the time being, the Austin-based restaurant group did note in a release that local architecture firm Sanders Architecture and New York-based interior design company Sarita Posada, in collaboration with Hai Design Studio, have been tasked with curating Uchibā’s Japanese-speakeasy-influenced style. 

“We designed Uchibā to feel like a hideaway,” says Cole, founding chef and partner. “We used Japanese izakayas as an inspiration. You recognize the core of Uchi throughout. We simply teased out and amplified certain elements for a more intimate experience.”

Follow Hai Hospitality on Instagram for updates.