TakuMen is an Izakaya-style restaurant located in Long Island City.
Conceived by a group of Japanese friends who forged their bonds in New York, their venture began as a Ramen project, but gradually developed into a family-friendly eatery that combines elements of Izakaya, a noodle shop and neighborhood cafe.
TakuMen is Kiyo Shinoki's interpretation of Izakaya culture. The director of the much acclaimed speakeasy Bohemian explains the logic behind it. "Historically, Izakaya was where people gathered and bonded over drinks. It was often a crossroad of cultures. The food menu was designed around the beverage program." These interpretations led to TakuMen's food and drink menu: eclectically mixed and casual food items, wines from California, Sake and Shochu from Japan, and craft beers from local Rockaway Brewery. Kiyo respected the original idea by keeping the noodle items on the menu. He adds, "We Japanese have a habit of finishing our Izakaya dinner with a noodle dish."
While Izakaya culture is the soul of TakuMen, it does wear more than one hat. In the front sits a serious coffee bar with a skilled barista who uses Parlor Coffee beans. It is also a lunch joint where local patrons show up for rice bowls and noodle fare. The grocery shelf filled with condiments and ingredients used in the kitchen symbolizes TakuMen's commitment to transparency.
The mostly hand built space was designed by Sachiko Kamiya of Monroe Garden, who also is Kiyo's partner. Inspired by their travels in California, its clean, bright, and breathy design will change your perspectives on Izakaya. Hoping to function as a community hub, TakuMen is committed to rotating local artists on the wall every few months. It is an Izakaya like no other.
text by Yumiko Sakuma