Toyko Bay & Em­ber Korean S teak­house

RSWLiving - - THE ARTS - Gina Birch is a South­west Florida me­dia per­son­al­ity and a lover of food and wine, who con­trib­utes reg­u­larly to TOTI Me­dia.

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.