Sunset Park

Industry City’s Japan Village adds new food space

February 4, 2020 Jaime Dejesus

New food options are coming to Industry City’s Japan Village.

The Japanese food hall is adding a 3,200-square-foot space called Wakuwaku, according to Industry City. The new addition, located at 269 36th St., is an izakaya, a tavern-style restaurant that features 60 seats in a main dining area that includes a kitchen-side counter. The eatery also includes private tatami mat rooms for children and large groups.

“Since opening Japan Village in 2018, we’ve been embraced by the Industry City community and our neighbors in Sunset Park,” said Erina Yoshida, co-owner of Wakuwaku and Japan Village. “It was important for us to build an izakaya to give our community an inviting space to relax after work, share a bite with friends, and indulge the way the Japanese do. Wakuwaku complements our busy food hall, offering a relaxed vibe with interesting cocktails and shareable bites.”

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The “large open-air kitchen … is the focal point of the restaurant space,” according to Industry City. 

Although the restaurant is only open for lunch for now, it will soon add dinner to the menu.

Wakuwaku means “fun and excitement” in Japanese. According to IC, the dinner experience at the restaurant will be “similar to Spanish tapas where patrons can share small plates and enjoy sake, shochu, shochu cocktails and more.”

Some of Wakuwaku’s offerings. Photo courtesy of Industry City

The Teishoku lunch comes with an entrée of choice plus a salad, miso soup, rice and selected side dishes. Dishes include Pork Katsu Cutlet ($16), Salmon Teriyaki ($16), Grilled Saba Mackerel ($16), Unagi Eel ($21) and more. 

The cocktail menu will be shochu-based and the bar will offer an extensive list of Sake, Shochu, draft beer and Japanese beer options. Among the specialties will be Lemon-Chuhai, in which diners juice their own lemons at the table into a glass of Shochu and top it off with soda to taste. In addition, Wakuwaku will offer non-alcoholic options including Ramune, a traditional Japanese soda,.


According to a press release from Industry City, “The restaurant has a minimalist design that was envisioned by co-owner Tony Yoshida and constructed by Japanese carpenters. Design touches include paper lanterns, Japanese art, bamboo hanging lamps, imported Japanese tile details in the open kitchen and handwritten wood food signs made by Yoshida, who has had a hand in virtually every design detail of Japan Village.” 

Lunch will be served Wednesdays through Sundays from 12-3 p.m. Last call will be at 2:30 p.m. A kids’ menu is coming soon, with Okosama lunch sets available from $7 – $9.

The owners behind Wakuwaku are the pioneers behind Angel’s Share, arguably the first modern-style speakeasy in New York, as well as Sunrise Mart, Kyo Ya and Village Yokocho.


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