Craft Izakaya has been operating out of Krog Street Market since August 2014, but it’s about to undergo some major changes. Chef Jey Oh tells Eater Atlanta his restaurant will shut down for a few days and reopen as Makimono. No longer a full-service establishment, it will operate as a fast-casual, take-away sushi bar.
The revamped concept will drastically cut back staff, and the market-facing bar will offer sushi rolls and cooked items in bowl form. Oh is deploying two machines that will make the sushi rolls: one will lay out the rice, and a second will cut the rolls. He says the machines will boost efficiency and consistency, and the staff reduction will allow Makimono to sell sushi at a discount — $9.95 for what Oh calls “really big rolls” — while using quality ingredients. Diners will be able to build their own rolls or select from a menu of the restaurant’s creations. Oh describes the new concept as a Japanese version of Chipotle.
Oh says Craft will shutter at the end of service on Sunday, January 15, and he hopes to reopen on Wednesday, January 18. What is currently the restaurant’s dining room will open up as common seating for the market. Craft’s interior sushi bar will become a cocktail bar with Japanese spirits, beer, and wine.
The reboot continues a period of transition for Krog Street Market. In October, Kevin and Megan Ouzts shuttered The Cockentrice, their meat-centric restaurant that began service in January 2015. They followed that up by closing the market’s Spotted Trotter butcher shop and Frankly hot dog stand at the end of December. Castellucci Hospitality Group, operator of Cooks & Soldiers, Double Zero, The Iberian Pig, and Sugo, will take over the spaces. Full details haven’t been revealed, but the new ventures should open this spring.