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Incoming O-Ku’s Sushi Room Boasts a Built-In Grill

New renderings provide a glimpse into Union Market’s emerging Japanese restaurant

A rendering of the sushi room at O-Ku’s debut D.C. restaurant shows the walk-in friendly counter and custom mural slated to decorate the space.
David Thompson Architect and Studio 3877 [Official renderings]

Renderings of the O-Ku restaurant currently taking shape across from Union Market show how the multiple bars and dedicated sushi counter at the heart of D.C.’s newest Japanese eatery are expected to look when completed.

The two-level, 120-seat establishment (1274 Fifth Street NE) is projected to include a main bar parked right by the entrance downstairs; a sushi room in the rear featuring a sunken floor behind the counter designed to bring the sushi chefs down into the direct line of sight of seated customers; a rooftop deck that will allow for outdoor dining with a view of the surrounding area; and a “Tokyo-style” cocktail bar stocked with imported Japanese whiskies.

O-Ku managing partner Kimball Brienza says the main counter in the sushi room should accommodate 12 to 15 people at a time. He says walk-ins will be welcome, but recommends that patrons make reservations to avoid potential waits. In addition to a la carte selections and omakase-style dinner service offered to sushi lovers, executive chef Bryan Emperor tells Eater that a custom binchotan grill will also occupy the space — allowing his chefs to sear everything from meaty skewers to garnishes.

The latest outpost of the family of restaurants that started in Charleston is currently projected to open before the end of May.

Scroll down to view design sketches of the new restaurant:

Customers who walk in the front door at O-Ku will greeted by a spacious bar and lounge area.
David Thompson Architect and Studio 3877 [Official renderings]

The upstairs bar at O-Ku is projected to feature a mixture of booths and standing high-tops where customers can order from the main menu.
David Thompson Architect and Studio 3877 [Official renderings]