PHOENIX (Jaime's Show the Love) --Celebrating its anniversary last month, Hana Japanese Eatery in Phoenix has been in business for 14 years. Lori Hashimoto's family has always been a part of the food scene in Arizona. Her dad and uncle had a vegetable farm at Southern Avenue and 24th Street, and her mom studied food and nutrition in Tokyo. Hana is very close to the traditions of Japan wants to share those with its customers.
Lori's uncle and father were in the internment camps after World War II, and it's become important for Lori to share her culture and the different views she can offer. Hana offers traditional Japanese fare. The head chef adheres strictly to the traditional techniques he learned in his northern Japan culinary school. There is a reason that things have been paired or prepared a certain way for centuries. For Lori, less is better. That way, Hana can focus on highlighting the flavors of the ingredients.
Hana went through all the motions that everyone else did at the beginning of the pandemic. They closed completely, and then only partially reopened last May. Initially, it was good because people ordered take-out. We took the opportunity to remodel during the pandemic. They did it all themselves because money was tight. There were outside in 100-degree weather staining wood. But little by little, they refreshed the restaurant. At the time, they also were able to apply for a liquor license. For a long time, Hana was BYO, but now our customers have the option to buy liquor. Lori says that will be their primary way to drive revenue once they fully reopen.
The official reopen date is May 20, but they'll have to reopen to 50% capacity partially because of the pandemic but also because they're having a hard time hiring.