Gyu-Kaku launches in Minneapolis

The owners of Wakame Sushi & Asian Bistro have opened Minnesota’s first location of Gyu-Kaku at a long-vacant space at 31st & Lyndale. Photo by Andrew Hazzard

A restaurant featuring a new concept for the Twin Cities has opened at 31st & Lyndale.

Gyu-Kaku, a Japanese barbecue restaurant, opened in early September in a long-vacant building in LynLake. The restaurant is a franchise of a growing chain, owned and operated by the team behind West Maka Ska’s Wakame Sushi & Asian Bistro.

“So far people have loved it,” said Anha Xu, part of the ownership and management team at Gyu-Kaku.

At Gyu-Kaku, guests order marinated meat and vegetables that they cook themselves at the table, which has a built-in gas grill. Dishes like bibimbap have been popular and the restaurant sold so much kalbi short rib beef that it ran out for a couple weeks. A state-of-the-art ventilation system sucks the smoky air from the restaurant floor to keep guests from being overwhelmed, Xu said.

It’s the first Minnesota location of a popular chain with multiple locations in California, Chicago and Texas.

“This is a new concept for Minnesota,” Xu said.

In addition to the main space, the LynLake Gyu-Kaku has a separate bar downstairs known as The Lounge, where guests can enjoy drinks and appetizers.

Right now, the restaurant is operating at 50% capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions, but reservations have been filling up fast. Everyone coming in is screened for symptoms and has their temperatures checked.

“We can’t wait for it to go back to normal,” Xu said.

3025 Lyndale Ave. S.