Toyko Bay & Ember Korean S teakhouse
Jack, Dennis and Chris Shin
Jack Shin’s foray into the restaurant business began when he opened a concession stand at the Fort Myers Skatium—to spend more time with his sons, Chris and Dennis, who were on traveling ice hockey teams.
An entrepreneur who relocated to Southwest Florida from New York City, Jack always liked to stay ahead of the curve and noticed at the time that the area was lacking in certain Asian dining experiences, such as hibachi. He originally opened Toyko Bay Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi in Fort Myers and then in Bonita Springs nearly two decades ago.
After four years in the Marines, Dennis joined his father. He says, “I never thought I’d be in the hospitality business but sometimes the best things happen when you’re not expecting
“I never thought I’d be in the hospitality business but sometimes the best things happen when you’re not expecting them.” —Dennis Shin
them.” Dennis took over the outdoor tiki bar, branding it the Coy Lounge, and is now general manager of Tokyo Bay. He saw the space through a major remolding project this past summer.
Chris never wanted to be in the restaurant business; he took off to California to surf and “find” himself. While sitting at a bar one night, he met three chefs who changed his life. “They were young and hungry and had a chef-driven, customer-oriented restaurant where everything is curated—from plating, to ingredients to the staff,” Chris explains.
He was sold and brought those ideas back to help open Ember Korean Steakhouse in Fort Myers. His mother, Jennifer, is in charge of the Korean food coming out of the kitchen, cooking with heart and soul, recipes handed down for generations. And while Jack is in both restaurants, his role largely involves business and finances. He gives his sons freedom to run with their ideas.
Jack had always wanted to open a Korean restaurant. For Chris, returning home to help his father fulfill a dream was a “full-circle moment.” Chris adds, “Everyone has their own perspective on life and the restaurant business puts me in a different world. I love it. For me it’s not a job, not work, not about making money—it is a passion.”
Flavors to Savor: AYCE (All You Can Eat) Korean BBQ. Choose from pork shoulder, pork belly, spicy chicken, bulgogi, calamari and other meats. Seared on your tabletop grill, with multiple side dishes called banchan, it’s a savory and interactive dining experience.