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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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New eatery adds to diversity

Upon stepping into Uraku, Bowling Green’s new Japanese restaurant, the first thing a person will notice is the aroma of fresh sushi being prepared at the sushi bar at the back of the restaurant. The city’s first Japanese dining place opened March 7, and according to co-owner Joe Chung, business has been steady since.

On the second and third days the restaurant was in business, Chung said there were people waiting outside for Uraku to open. “As soon as we opened the door, a bunch of people walked in,” he said. “Some people left because it was so busy and they didn’t want to wait.”

Uraku offers various varieties of sushi, maki-sushi and temaki. There is also a lunch special featuring things like chicken teriyaki, shrimp tempura and steak teriyaki.

While the food is authentic Japanese, most of the decor inside is not, according to Chung. In fact, the sushi bar is the only traditional Japanese item inside.

However, in bringing his restaurant to Bowling Green, Chung said he hopes to not only feed people but also educate the area about Japanese culture and traditions.

“I’ve had people come here who never had sushi before and tried it for the first time and liked it, and they came back,” he said.

One of the main reasons for locating in Bowling Green, Chung said, was because of the University. He said there are numerous students from many different areas and cultural backgrounds that enjoy sushi.

“More than 50 percent of my customers are students,” he said.

One student who is happy to see Uraku in Bowling Green is Lynette Boos, a graduate student. She said she used to travel to Toledo every week to get Japanese food.

“Now I can stay in town and eat it every day,” she said. “I’ve been here every day since it opened.”

Boos said she would like to see even more ethnic restaurants open up, such as a place that serves food from the Middle East. “I think Bowling Green needs more ethnic restaurants, so we should support the ones that are here,” she said.

One thing she and other members of the Bowling Green area don’t have to worry about is Uraku closing up any time soon.

While some business move to a town only to move once they become bigger than the town, Chung said he plans to stay while he expands to other areas in Ohio.

“From the time I got here up to now, people of the community have been so helpful,” he said. “I’m so thankful I’m here and that I live with these kinds of people and I live in this kind of environment.”

Uraku is open for carryout or dining, and its hours are weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and weekends from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

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