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An All-Day Japanese Cafe With Fashion Cred Is Coming to LES

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Izakaya owner Yudai Kanayama plans to serve curry rice at his new restaurant Davelle

Izakaya
Dinner at Davelle will be similar to dinner at Izakaya, pictured here
Photo via Izakaya

Davelle, a new all-day Japanese cafe from the owner of popular small plates restaurant Izakaya, is coming to the Lower East Side. Owner Yudai Kanayama — who opened Izakaya in the East Village in 2014 — will be teaming up with partners in fashion and retail for the new restaurant at 102 Suffolk St., between Delancey and Rivington streets in the former Soy space.

Kanayama tells Eater that his latest venture will be modeled after a kissaten, a classic Japanese cafe-restaurant, and will have some European influence — adding that having food with coffee is an aspect of Japanese coffee culture he hopes to channel here. It will be open all day.

In the morning, coffees will come with Japanese-style toast and a boiled egg or an onigiri rice bowl and a boiled egg. Lunch will feature three options: a curry rice set, a spaghetti set, and a daily special. And at night, the dinner menu will focus on oden, a stew of boiled eggs, daikon, and fishcakes in a dashi broth, as well as Japanese small plates similar to the ones served at Izakaya. There will also be a wine and sake bar similar to Izakaya’s but larger.

The restaurateur used to work in fashion and will be opening Davelle with Hiro Yonekawa, the CEO of Front General Store in Dumbo; Daichi Ishihara, the owner of Japanese hair salon Hazuki Hair; and Allen Liu from real estate investment firm SGE Capital. The team wants to introduce a retail component to the restaurant eventually, selling “lifestyle goods,” Kanayama says.

Here, Kanayama hopes to cultivate a “chill” atmosphere, he says. The restaurant’s name comes from the Japanese word daberu, meaning to relax at a cafe. Like Izakaya, Davelle will be tiny — with just 22 seats, including a small bar. “It’s going to be a lifestyle restaurant where people can come every day,” he says.

Izakaya first opened in October in 2014 and shortly after received a glowing assessment in the Times’ Hungry City column. The restaurant closed briefly in February 2016 and reopened with a new chef, Tomomi Nagasaka.

In May, Kanayama also brought Izakaya to the Canal Street Market in Chinatown in the form of Izakaya Samurice, a booth offering bento boxes, Japanese curry rice, and pour-over miso soup in a cup — prepared the way baristas make pour-over coffee. Samurice has been a popular Canal Street Market vendor, and with the upcoming Davelle, Kanayama further expands his reach in the Japanese casual dining scene. Expect a February opening.

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