Dupont Circle just got an anticipated, graffiti-lined Japanese gastropub that transforms into a Tokyo-style lounge at night.
Tokyo Pearl (1301 Connecticut Avenue NW) welcomed its first customers last Friday and opened for lunch yesterday. Stephanos Andreou, who owns Asian-Latin restaurant Sakerum on 14th Street NW, opened the new two-part venue.
The daytime operation in the colorful space focuses on fast-casual bento boxes prepared from a walk-up ordering counter. A nearby back patio fits 43 patrons on bright red chairs and benches. A retractable awning will be installed to protect the outdoor space and keep it open year round.
Each box order ($9.88) includes a base of rice or greens, protein options including hot teriyaki meats or cold seafood, two veggie sides, a sauce, and toppings. Here’s a look at the opening menu:
Bento Menu by Anonymous S3C97Jx4 on Scribd
Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. to start, with dinner and brunch bentos joining the rotation soon. Happy hour starts at 3 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m. On weekends, bentos will be sold until midnight, and the bar will stay open until 3 a.m. An online app will help speed up the ordering process.
At night, the //3877-designed venue will flip into a club featuring a menu full of Japanese street foods such as bao buns and sushi. There’s also hookah service, with modern vape-enabled options inside. Soon Tokyo Pearl will start selling six types of bubble tea, including three boozy versions for adults.
Late-night Lebanese street foods spot Muncheez is also capitalizing on the day-to-night Dupont corridor by opening a new location this summer in the former DGS Delicatessen space nearby .
This week Tokyo Pearl will install a Function One sound system — Shaw nightclub Flash is one of the few venues that have one in the city — alongside a high-tech light system similar to the ones at LIV and Story clubs in Miami.
A grand opening party is scheduled for Friday, August 16, starring Las Vegas’s DJ Manifesto.
Cult-favorite anime cartoons playing across a huge TV wall also aim to bring a slice of Japanese culture to D.C.