Chicagoans curious to see how Katana, the lavish Japanese restaurant that debuted in LA, fits into River North have two more days to wait. Thursday is opening day to see what’s workers have done inside the 13,000-square-foot former Bin 36 (they moved) space next to The Hotel Chicago. While keeping the space sleek and modern, ownership has decorated with a host of antique Japanese artifacts, hoping the knickknacks lend an air of authenticity to the room.
Katana serves up upscale sushi and steakhouse-quality beef with plenty of sake and Japanese whisky. There use robata with meats cooked over a special charcoal imported from Japan. Many expense accounts will be emptied here among the sushi and island bars and the 300 total seats. Jason Chan (Juno, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises) will run the restaurant. Chan gives Katana’s parent company, Innovative Dining Group, someone who’s familiar with the market. Chicago marks Katana’s third location. Besides LA, there’s also a restaurant in Dubai. Middle Eastern travelers apparently fell in love with Katana during their Hollywood vacations and wanted one closer to home.
Though Hollywood celebs created a trendy scene in LA, ownership is eager to shed the “clubstaurant” label. Take a tour through the space below. Katana opens on Thursday at 339 N. Dearborn St.