Japanese Marketplace Comes to Greenpoint

A venue celebrating Japanese food and culture and showcasing three Japanese brands as they debut in New York City is getting ready to open soon at 50 Norman Avenue in Greenpoint.

The complex holds Cibone, a retail shop with artisanal goods from Japan that includes a small art gallery; Dashi Okume, a dried fish and dashi specialist from Tokyo; and House, a fine-dining Japanese-French restaurant. A private preview took place Wednesday.

Dashi is a family of stocks used in Japanese cuisine and forms the base for miso soup and a number of other Japanese dishes. Dashi Okume, which is run by a company that has been operating at the Tokyo Fish Market since 1871, sells packaged dashi ingredients priced between $19 and $45 for bags of differing sizes. Other Japanese ingredients are also available, and there will be a food and drink menu.

interior of 50 norman avenue in greenpoint

interior of 50 norman avenue in greenpoint

House, the fine-dining restaurant, will be run by chef Yuji Tani and will open in October. The French-Japanese menu will be served as a nine-course omakase tasting menu. There will be sake selected by Sake Discoveries’ Chizuko Niikawa and tea from Kettl.

Tani told Brownstoner he first fell in love with Greenpoint while walking around visiting shops and restaurants and getting to know the people in the area. He said the building at 50 Norman Avenue was in the perfect location between Williamsburg and Greenpoint, with people walking across the two neighborhoods and also from Queens.

interior of 50 norman avenue in greenpoint

He said he also liked how there aren’t many high-rises in the area, and he thought the landscape of commercial buildings balanced perfectly with the residential buildings. “The building was built 130 years ago, so that was fascinating to me and I saw the potential in turning it into something special but also minimalistic. It was a great canvas for us to get inspired and draw our plans,” he said over email via a translator.

“People might think of Japan as this traditional and historical place, which is also true, but we hope visitors will get to experience the Tokyo vibes that are much more current and real to us,” he said.

The 3,500-square-foot space was designed by Japanese architect Jo Nagasaka. The interior uses reclaimed woods from an old demolished house in Kyoto.

exterior of 50 Norman Avenue greenpoint

50 Norman in Greenpoint. Photo by Anna Bradley-Smith

interior of 50 norman avenue in greenpoint

The building, whose addresses span 46-52 Norman Avenue, sits between Guernsey and Dobbin Streets and is also home to Indian-New American restaurant Nura, which opened in October 2021 at No. 46.

The complex is located inside Greenpoint’s industrial business zone, according to DOB, and last housed an auto repair shop. In February 2022, a permit was issued by the Department of Buildings to convert the first floor of the building into an eating and drinking establishment with retail use. According to the permit, offices remain on the second floor.

The permit lists Elliot Ambalo of 95-101 Guernsey St. Realty LLC as the building owner. Department of Finance records show the property was recently transferred to Shalmer Two LLC for $10. Elliot Ambalo is listed as the signatory for Shalmer Two LLC.

[Photos by Anna Bradley-Smith]

Related Stories

Email [email protected] with further comments, questions or tips. Follow Brownstoner on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.