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If you haven’t already stopped by Jinsei Motto for a taste of Executive Chef Eric Blank’s creations, you’ll want to put it on the books. Particularly now that the restaurant is in the process of building out a dedicated omakase bar for its space inside CH Distillery.
Co-owners and chefs Andrew Choi and Patrick Bouaphanh initially started Jinsei Motto as a pop up sushi restaurant in October 2020, filling pick-up and delivery orders on certain days of the week. The eatery also offered hand roll kits to-go. One of these early pop-ups generated a lasting relationship between the new business and local artisan spirits producer CH Distillery, which provided the restaurant with a more permanent home.
“We did a handroll pop-up event with CH Distillery and that is when the partnership blossomed. The GM of CH Distillery, Tony, is a good friend of ours and brought us in. He has been a big cornerstone on how this relationship has developed.” Choi wrote in an email with What Now Chicago. “CEO Tremaine Atkinson took a chance on us by letting us run our business within his and has been nothing but supportive and loving. Without the support from Tony and Tremaine, we would not have been able to accomplish the things we have so far.” Jinsei Motto officially began serving its menu five days a week at CH Distillery on December 11th, 2020.
Now, almost a year later, the eatery is taking its next steps.
Choi views the addition of the omakase bar as integral to the restaurant’s aim. “The addition of the omakase bar is everything. The vision behind starting Jinsei Motto was always to become an omakase sushi restaurant. To have a legitimate platform to showcase our food is very exciting. And to be able to do it where it all started is a very special feeling,” Choi added.
You can follow along with the bar’s progress by finding Jinsei Motto on social media. Choi says the team expects the bar to be finished by the start of 2022.