Culinary Duo Bring Izakaya & Sushi Bar to Nashville, TN

NASHVILLE, TN—San Francisco Bay Area Chef Ken Tominaga and Chef Michael Mina of MINA Group are set to debut PABU here this fall at JW Marriott in Downtown Nashville.

“I’m most excited to fly in fresh fish from Japan and offer this rarity to the Nashville community,” said Tominaga. “We are counting down the days.”

The two friends of over two decades sought to add a modern izakaya and sushi bar to the local food scene and through its expansion to other cities like Boston and San Francisco, the concept has proven successful.

“We both shared the same goal to open a restaurant that embodies true and authentic Japanese cuisine—and PABU was born,” said Tominaga. “I am thrilled to open our third location and introduce the PABU experience to Music City. We are bringing PABU signatures to Nashville, while also tapping into the local community to create new classics that reflect both our contemporary Japanese cuisine and new locally-inspired twists. We do this for each of our different markets.”

Capitalizing on the success of the MINA Group’s Bourbon Steak debut at the property, the culinary duo saw JW Marriott in Downtown Nashville as the ideal place to bring the izakaya & sushi bar.

“After the extreme success of MINA Group’s Bourbon Steak debut at the JW Marriott in Downtown Nashville, we saw it as a no brainer to partner yet again with the property,” said Tominaga. “This location provides us the opportunity to provide a new dining destination to both Nashville locals and hotel guests.”

Designed by ROY, PABU’s design will embody the spirit of an izakaya-style drinking house with a modern twist. “The environment will feature a bright Tokyo-inspired color palette and a playful homage to ’60s Japanese pop bands that will fit right into the vibrant Nashville scene,” he said. “Located on the ground level of the property, the restaurant will offer street access to locals and will feature an outdoor terrace for al fresco dining—which we find extra special.”

Get ready to expect the unexpected at PABU, which will offer atmosphere not found anywhere else in the city.

“We go beyond the traditional Japanese restaurant to offer a contemporary take on traditional dining options from Japan, including an elevated sushi bar, izakaya menu and robata grill,” he said. “And what makes PABU stand out even more is our lively bar scene that’s a perfect fit for Nashville. We’re known for our exciting happy hour and signature Japanese whisky program that’s rare to find elsewhere.”