Bar Oni was born of fire: Our story is inexorably linked with the need to create under pressure. Bar Oni was conceived and birthed during the COVID 19 crisis of Spring, 2020. Chefs David Kocab and Matthew Spinner were busy running a successful Japanese restaurant, when a pandemic disaster struck. The event left their restaurant, as well as all others in the state, shuttered for dine in business. This meant the only way to survive would be through delivery and takeout business. Not ones to take a crisis lying down, Chefs Spinner and Kocab concocted a menu full of casual dining Japanese favorites, and began packaging them for pick-up and delivery as a way to stay afloat during lean times. The menu included yakitori (skewered and grilled chicken), as well as izakaya (Japanese pub specialties). Needless to say, yakitori and izakaya style pub food were hits among Clevelanders. So much so, that in September, 2020, the duo decided to convert their former fine dining Japanese restaurant space, to a Japanese sports pub and yakitori grill. The name Bar Oni comes from a the mythical gargoyle like creature from Japanese folklore. Once an ancient evil spirit, in modern times the Oni has become a protector of homes and buildings. The Oni uses his fearsome appearance to chase away bad luck.
Japanese sports pub and yakitori grill. Flat screen tv's, $2 beer, and chicken skewers