Japanese concept eatery opening at Warehouse Row is a first for Chattanooga

Operating partner Jessica Benefield, left, plates food while chef Chris Maldonado cooks in the kitchen during a VIP event at new restaurant Two Ten Jack located in Warehouse Row in Chattanooga. The restaurant offers ramen dishes and Japanese pub-style food.

Billed as the first restaurant of its kind in Chattanooga, Two Ten Jack is slated to open soon and bring its Japanese pub-style izakaya concept to Warehouse Row.

Izakaya is a restaurant model where socializing and community gatherings happen. The concept premiered locally last year in Nashville.

Two Ten Jack, which is owned by Nashville restaurant group Seed Hospitality, had a VIP preview last week in the Scenic City.

Chattanooga was chosen as the restaurant's second location because of "the city's culture, which is vibrant, friendly and adventurous," according to Two Ten Jack officials.

Fast fact

Two Ten Jack's arrival nearly rounds out Warehouse Row's available retail space, which is now 94 percent leased, according to property owners.

photo A crispy Brussels sprouts dish is put onto a tray for service at Two Ten Jack.
photo Stairs lead to the new restaurant Two Ten Jack located in Warehouse Row.

Two Ten Jack took over 4,800 square feet of space in the southern building at downtown's Warehouse Row and gave it an urban industrial feel, with exposed concrete and brick, paired with high-end wood and metal accents and furniture.

The restaurant's open kitchen allows guests to watch as food is prepared, and a side room is available for large parties and reservations. Japanese-inspired films play silently through a projector on the wall in the side room.

George MacEwan, formerly head chef at Grocery Bar, is chef de cuisine at Chattanooga's Two Ten Jack, and Shannon Jack is developing the restaurant's bar program.

Two Ten Jack's arrival nearly rounds out Warehouse Row's available retail space, which is now 94 percent leased, according to property owners.

Warehouse Row, at 1110 Market St., has 295,000 total square feet, broken into retail and commercial space. The facility's office space is 82 percent leased.

"Warehouse Row continues to attract attention as a hub of innovation for downtown Chattanooga thanks to its strong balance of local and national retail options, regional food purveyors and innovative office tenants, rounding out our offerings for the region," said Michael Phillips, president of Jamestown LP, Warehouse Row's property manager.

Two Ten Jack guests, meanwhile, have ample seating options at the new Chattanooga location, and can either take up an oversized booth or choose free-standing high-top tables in the bar area, where a host of local craft beers, handcrafted cocktails and Japanese drink options like sake and shochu are available to drink.

The Two Ten Jack menu features Japanese starters and entrees made with Southern diners in mind, with brussel sprouts, "Japanese fried chicken," squid and edamame served over the course of a typical four-tier meal, which arrives in rounds.

The izakaya model calls for each course to be accompanied by a partner drink, whether it be a cocktail or shot of sake, and the typical izakaya experience starts with a drink.

The typical izakaya meal is finished off with a plate of hand-made ramen, though guests are free to mix-and-match whatever they prefer from the menu. Two Ten Jack wait staff provide guidance for food and drink ordering and pairing, as the model is foreign to most diners.

The restaurant is still hiring and more information is available at www.twotenjack.com/chattanooga.

Contact staff writer Alex Green at agreen@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480.