Nojo To Close Temporarily Under New Ownership, Refocus On Ramen

Nojo To Close Temporarily Under New Ownership, Refocus On Ramen
Photo: Nojo/Facebook
By Allie Pape - Published on August 07, 2015.

Nojo has been a Hayes Valley fixture since March 2011. Now, the Japanese izakaya-style restaurant on the corner of Franklin and Linden is set to get a shakeup, as Inside Scoop reports that Nojo is getting new owners and will go on hiatus while the restaurant changes hands. 

The new owners are AP Company, a Japanese conglomerate with 16 restaurant brands spanning 206 locations across Japan and Singapore. The Nojo location at 231 Franklin St. will serve as the company's first U.S. location, and a flagship for future U.S. expansion. 

Nojo chef/owner Greg Dunmore is sticking around to help train staff and ease the transition from October to January. After that, he'll work with AP Company on further U.S. expansions, though it's unclear whether those will be under the "Nojo" name.

AP Company's purchase of Nojo is the latest in a number of moves by large Asian restaurant groups to open their first U.S. locations in San Francisco. Back in February, Ginto Izakaya Japonaise, the first American project from major Japanese group Ramla (which boasts 100+ restaurants), debuted on Market Street. Mensho Tokyo, the first U.S. outpost of a five-location Tokyo ramen chain, is set to open in the Tenderloin at the end of the month. And Crystal Jade Jiang Nan, the first U.S. restaurant from a Singapore-based chain with locations across Asia, has been in business in Embarcadero Center since last November. 

San Francisco is also exporting many of its culinary wares to Japan: Tartine Bakery, Blue Bottle Coffee, and the Marina's A16 all have locations in Tokyo. 

Nojo will close next Friday, August 14th, and will reopen on October 1st. Though the details of what menu changes are in the store remain unclear, Dunmore told Inside Scoop that the restaurant will likely take on a ramen focus.