Winslow becomes a teriyaki town

A new eatery in the Mall serves up a staple of Pacific Northwest cuisine.

Jay Park took the wrong boat, but that didn’t stop him from getting to the right place.

The Eastside restaurateur was on the way to visit a friend in Bremerton last summer when he accidentally got into the Bainbridge queue at Colman Dock. But when he stepped off the ferry and caught his first glimpse of the island, he knew he’d arrived at his real destination.

“I saw a nice area, a beautiful view – and all those people walking up and down Winslow Way,” Park said. “I thought it would have to be good for business.”

And a population of 20,000 with no teriyaki restaurant of its own? It was too much to resist, Park said.

“I asked my wife, ‘Why don’t we move over here?’”

Park, his wife Sook and their 8-year-old daughter haven’t moved the household yet, but the couple has planted roots of another kind – the new Teriyaki Town restaurant on Winslow Way.

Last November, Park saw a newspaper ad for space in Winslow Mall , the former home of a Russian restaurant, 12 Chairs. He moved quickly to secure the property, then spent a couple months refurbishing it for Teriyaki Town’s grand opening late last month.

Park is an old hand at restaurant start-ups. He opened his first teriyaki business in 1992 in Kent, and recently sold a similar establishment in Bellevue.

In between, he’s been continuously involved in a string of family restaurants.

One brother has a teriyaki establishment in North Bend, while his other brother owns a Korean restaurant in Lynnwood. His brother-in-law runs a teriyaki place in Auburn.

The new restaurant on Bainbridge is similar, he said. Entrees include char-broiled prawns and salmon as well as teriyaki chicken, pork and beef.

The menu also features several stir-fry dishes, including a vegetarian version, and yakisoba (stir-fried noodles) with vegetables or a choice of meat. All meals are served with salad and rice.

Most of the initial business has been sit-down lunches, Park said, but Teriyaki Town also offers its menu items to go, and is open for dinner.

According to Park, his neighbors on Winslow Way were quick to discover the new lunch in town. He said the bulk of his trade thus far has come from the surrounding business district.

It’s too early to gauge whether this year will bring the steady stream of tourists that brightened Park’s eyes last summer, but he’s already delighted with the outcome of his little navigational error.

“I’m happy to be open here,” he said.

“I love it.”

* * * * *

Teriyaki Town is located in the Winslow Mall, 278 Winslow Way. (855-1200). Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays).

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