“Soft opening will be August,” said Lewis Lin, the chef and owner of Juju. ”After soft opening, when we are fully staffed, we will probably announce the grand opening.”
Juju is opening up at 700 Maguire Blvd., a building that used to house a Pizza Hut, right across the street from the Fashion Square Mall.
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Juju was first announced in July 2021 and was originally slated to open by the end of the year. However, the business said construction was delayed until February 2022.
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A representative added that it was waiting on the City of Orlando to approve some permits related to changes to the facade.
The construction saw the former Pizza Hut transformed to have the appearance of a Shōwa period-style Japanese house.
The interior has also seen a drastic change.
“We separate the whole restaurant into three different areas,” Lin said. “First, we have a really more high-end Kappo bar, a chef’s table — six seats, reservation only, serving 10 courses with a premium sake pairing option.”
The other sections are a traditional izakaya setting, which will serve drinks and snacks for a more casual dining experience, and another section focused on serving a late-night crowd.
Lin said he wanted to make Juju distinct from his other two restaurants — Susuru, 8548 Palm Parkway in Orlando’s tourist district, and Jade Sushi & New Asian, 2425 Edgewater Driver in College Park.
Susuru specializes in Japanese street food, while Jade offers a traditional sushi restaurant. Juju will offer a blend of high-end, omakase dining and casual dining while also contributing to the area’s nightlife.
JuJu in the new restaurant’s name refers to the Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound made by grilling meats, according to a news release.
“The reason for doing that in the Milk District is because I want to bring different concepts and share different kinds of food themes with (the people there),” Lin said.