Main Store is Back
The construction of Kato Building, which was being rebuilt, is over, and Benihana opened a new store.
This is the new main store.
Nihonbashi has been a commercial center for a long time. The history of Benihana began when Yunosuke Aoki opened Jazz Cafe Ellington in Nihonbashi.
At the time, it was a fashionable state-of-the-art shop where you can drink coffee while listening to jazz records.
Japan Hungry for Sweetness
During the Pacific War. As the war situation became tougher, the world was no longer a jazz cafe, and the important coffee beans became difficult to obtain.
Under such a wartime economic system, Yunosuke felt that “people are hungry for sweets”. Just next to Ellington is a vacant house, and I borrowed it to open the sweet shop Nihonbashi.
Tokyo Air Raid
Nihonbashi has been operating smoothly, but the storm of war is getting stronger. Ellington was also renamed Yakata and gradually moved into a closed store.
Despite the labor shortage caused by the war, Yunosuke worked hard, but was recruited to the Kamata town factory, and both stores were finally closed.
And Tokyo air raid. Nihonbashi is a completely burned field. Both Yakata and Nihonbashi have disappeared.
A Single Red Flower
Japan has reached the end of the war. The sound of jazz has been heard in Yunosuke's ear, which was in a stargazing state at the evacuation destination. While listening to the nostalgic melody, he motivation was revived.
Yunosuke, who returned to Tokyo, built a store from nothing and started a soup mill again. The name is Benihana. My wife Katsu named her a dream of a red flower that bloomed in the burned fields after the war.
From Sweet Shop to Coffee Shop
After the war, coffee and other items began to appear, and coffee shops for occupation forces and office workers opened in Tokyo. Yunosuke, who felt that “people will start to heal coffee now,” worked to renovate the store and opened a new store as a specialty coffee store Benihana.
Thanks to the desperate efforts of Yunosuke and the staff, Benihana became one of the best coffee shops in Nihonbashi within a year after the opening.
When that happens, we can't always stay within the framework of a private company. In 1950, incorporated into Benihana Corporation.
From Coffee Shop to Restaurant
The coffee specialty store became a popular store in Nihonbashi, but Yunosuke, who was not satisfied with it, started to think about the next business. This restaurant has a high affinity with the main coffee shop.
Yunosuke renovates part of the second floor of the store and starts a restaurant. This is the beginning of a restaurant. In July of the following year, the entire second floor was renovated as a restaurant, and it became more and more prosperous.
Yunosuke, who gained confidence in the success of restaurant, opened a branch store in Nihonbashi 2-chome (formerly Kato Bldg. B1) (later renamed Benihana 2-chome store).
Successfully differentiated by making it somewhat more expensive than the main store and succeeded in bringing out the characteristics of the branch. In half a year, sales were comparable to the main store.
Barbecue Benihana = Benihana Annex
Main store and branch. Yunosuke, who got two stores, thought he needed an office to oversee both, and set up a residence and office across the river. After that, we will continue to open related facilities such as bakery, laundry factory and farm.
And in 1955, a barbecue store that had been interested in for a long time opened near the main store. This is the predecessor of the Benihana annex that continues today. Barbecue Benihana was expanded in November 1962, renamed the Benihana annex with teppanyaki on the first floor and western food on the second floor.
Advance to Ginza
The next aim of Yunosuke, who opened three stores in Nihonbashi and gained momentum, was Ginza, the place where merchants have longed for.
In the summer of 1956, a chicken restaurant in Ginza 6-chome was on sale. Yunosuke, who bought this after careful consideration, started a major renovation of the store. After four months of construction, the Benihana Ginza store opened.
Benihana Crossing The Sea
Yunosuke, who succeeded in the Benihana Ginza store, is now aiming to advance into the United States, which was his dream.
At that time, travel and foreign currency exports were restricted. So I sent my son, who was a wrestling player, to the country and went to the United States as a manager. After four years of research, I found a good place in Manhattan, New York.
The interior is a gassho building from Japan. BENIHANA OF TOKYO opened in 1964 with the chef's performance of grilling meat with rhythmic movements.
Head Office Building Completed
Benihana has been steadily increasing the number of stores so far. There are nearly 20 branches in Japan, and the traditional wooden office has finally become too narrow. In addition, the construction of the aging was also advancing, so new construction work began. Over a year, the 9-story Benihana Building was completed.
The Kato Building, which had been planned for some time, was rebuilt, and the branch that had been operating for nearly 40 years was closed.
Challenge New Business Format
The former Kato Building had only one store on the basement, but the new Kato Building has entered three stores on the basement. Benihana borrowed two of them and decided to make one as the main store and the other as a new izakaya-style restaurant Benihana-tei.
AOKI Tower Completed
The AOKI Tower was built on the site of the Ginza store, which was closed in 1997 and became a parking lot.
To Italian Restaurant
The main store was closed this year. Benihana-tei had been lend for several years, but it has been renewed to an Italian restaurant. The store was renamed Montalcino.
The Second Line
Benihana grill is a sister shop that was created by renovating Montalcino under the concept of creating a more casual store than Benihana annex.
The cuisine is centered on meat dishes that inherited the history of Benihana. For this, we prepared a cocotte curry that became a very popular product at Benihana annex.
Main Store Closed
A new bldg. will be built in the location of the main store, and a period will be struck once in the long history of the main store.