Yamato joins Queen’s Feast after upgrades
DENVER – Yamato is back with an updated menu and up-fitted interior.
The Japanese steakhouse has been closed since last fall, but Hero Yu purchased the restaurant and has been working on improvements since February.
“We want this to be a friendly restaurant,” Yu said. “For people to come and feel like it’s their own family restaurant.”
Yu and his wife Sun also own Kobe Hero in Cornelius. They have a son, Geehoon Yu.
Yu said he’s the second-generation of restaurant owners in his family. His mother owned restaurant businesses in Japan and Korea.
Yu grew up in South Korea. He’s run restaurants in the U.S. since 1986, and he opened Kobe Hero in 2004.
After he bought Yamato in February, he decided to redesign the restaurant.
“We wanted to make it more upscale,” he said.
He added more space to the sushi bar, opened up a wall to bring in more light and made the hibachi grill tables a little larger.
Yamato quietly opened June 21 so staff could train with the new computer system and updated menu. They practiced waiting on Kimberly Mileta and her family last week.
“I love what they’ve done, this is the second time we’ve been in here (in a week),” she said. “They’ve really opened it up and brightened it up.”
Returning employees Shellie West and Brittney Gibson said they like that the restaurant is nicer.
“Some of the stuff on the menu is the same, but there’s more,” Gibson said. “We’ve got more appetizers, more wine and more sake.”
West added there are now some sushi entrees that can only be ordered in the sushi bar.
Yu said he’s changed some of the items on the menu, using his mother’s recipes instead.
“We opened last Thursday (June 21), and we haven’t really had any slow days,” West said.
And it’s not likely to slow down any time soon. Yamato will be the only Denver restaurant featured in the upcoming Queen’s Feast: Charlotte Restaurant Week, which takes place July 20-29.
The event features more than 100 Charlotte-region restaurants that offer a three-course meal for $30 per person.
Queen’s Feast at Yamato
When: July 20-29
Where: 751 N.C. 16 N., Denver
Cost: $30 per person
Reservations: 704-489-8880, or www.yamatodenver.com