Local Chef Celebrates Grand Opening of Japanese Convenience Store

Posted on February 15, 2024 by aatkinson

Daruma Brings Household Staples and New Lunch Options to Court Street Plaza

CINCINNATI (February 15, 2024) – Well-known local chef Hideki Harada, who co-owns College Hill’s Kiki and Findlay Market’s Sen, will celebrate the grand opening of Daruma, his Japanese convenience store located at 31 E. Court Street, tomorrow at 11 AM. Conveniently situated in Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC)’s $7.9 million Court Street South Condos project, Daruma carries a variety of authentic Japanese household staples, in addition to grab-and-go meals like sushi, rice balls and more.

The 830-square-foot space, which was designed by local firm Team B Architecture & Design, is very simple, featuring light-colored wood and Japanese aesthetics throughout. The store stocks a variety of items like Japanese sauces and condiments, as well as snacks and candy. Aside from the usual items found in a convenience store, Daruma offers ready-made meal options for folks on the go, and outdoor patio seating for those looking for a quick place to sit and eat.

“I’m really looking forward to being back downtown and being part of all the exciting things happening in the city,” said Harada. “With a growing number of downtown employees returning to the office, there’s an increased demand for weekday lunch options – and Daruma will provide options that are healthy, unique and convenient.”

Some of the most popular grab-and-go items include sushi rolls, onigiri, triangular-shaped rice balls made with protein and veggies like pork belly, pickled plum, and ham & cheese, as well as beer & sake. Daruma is also equipped with a hot water dispenser for making tea and a variety of instant cup noodles.

“Court Street Plaza has seen a great deal of growth in the last month, with Court Street Kitchen, Pata Roja, and now Daruma opening their doors within weeks of one another,” said Lindzie Gunnels, Commercial Leasing Director with 3CDC. “Though unplanned, the timing of these restaurants coming online and the recent influx of downtown professionals returning to the office has made this a winning situation for both the businesses and patrons alike. The addition of Daruma not only expands the list of lunch options available during the workweek but broadens the range of cuisine types available on Court Street Plaza, as well.”

The variety of dining options on Court Street Plaza continues to grow, including American, Mexican, Nepali, and Japanese cuisines, among others. Culture-specific dishes are available at each restaurant.

“I’m very excited to bring something new to the city, where folks can purchase Japanese items they can’t easily find nearby,” said Harada. “Daruma is a place where people can discover and try new things – a place where you may even find a few surprises.”

Daruma will be open Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 6 PM to accommodate downtown office workers. The convenience store will be closed on Saturday and Sunday.

# # #