Here's what to expect and what the designer had to say about the space.
The biggest supper club in Canada is about to open in downtown Montreal. Yoko Luna, a 20,000-square foot Japanese-themed Montreal restaurant, bar, lounge and venue, will open its doors on May 26.
Conceived by JEGantic, the group behind The Faresides and Bord'elle, and designed by firm Anonymous Concepts, Yoko Luna is described in a press release as a "fully immersive fantasy setting" consisting of eight spaces, including a mirrored entrance, a whisky den, two terrasses and a grand dining room with a 15-foot-tall statue — questionably dubbed the "geisha" — towering over it.
Preliminary plans for the restaurant were released in the fall of 2021. At the time, organizers facedbacklash for the proposed club name "Geisha." Some social media users also took issue with promotional imagery showing sexualized Asian women.
Renderings for the Yoko Luna dining room shared with MTL Blog also show images of Asian women adorning the walls.
Asked how he aimed to avoid orientalism with the design of Yoko Luna, Anonymous Concepts President Italo Di Pietro told MTL Blog that the firm "strives to represent Japanese, or any culture for a specific design, in the best way possible."
His goal with Yoko Luna was to "create an experience above all."
Grand dining room of Yoko Luna.Yoko Luna
He explained how Anonymous Concepts employed different materials to give each room in the club a distinct mood inspired by physical spaces in Japan. The whisky bar is meant to evoke a downtown, the dining room a Japanese garden, the hall to the bathroom a bamboo forest.
The Yoko Luna menu, a collaboration between JEGantic group Executive Chef Andrew Bambino and celebrity Chef Hakim Chajar, is meant to showcase Nikkei cuisine, a Japanese-Peruvian fusion, with additional dishes likened to the offerings of a "high-end Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar."
Promoters highlighted the Luna Ceviche (diced bluefin tuna, yuzu leche de tigre, jalapeno dashi, and cancha) and promised "variations of the finest wagyu, kobe beef, and toro."
In the press release, JEGantic founder John Edward Gumbley called Yoko Luna the group's "magnum opus."
"As you enter, the setting will take you into our re-imagining of an indoor Japanese garden and you will be embraced by an electric tranquillity. Yoko Luna is sure to unlock all of one's desires."
Yoko Luna opens May 26 at at 1234, rue de la Montagne.
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