The Heights has a new option for cocktails and small plates. Kanpai Club opened last week next to Hando at 518 W. 11th St.
Hando owner Jason Andaya opened the 400-square-foot, 10-seat bar as both an extension of Hando and a separate concept. Previously, diners who wanted to dine at Hando, the sushi hand roll restaurant Andaya opened at the end of 2019, might have to wait outside. Now, they can belly up to Kanpai Club’s bar for a cocktail and a selection of small plates from the Hando kitchen.
“It’s an opportunity for us to do some other creative things on the drink side and push the kitchen to do some fun stuff they wouldn't do on the Hando side,” Andaya says.
That “fun stuff” comes in the form of a late night menu that’s exclusive to Kanpai Club and only available after Hando closes (10 pm-12 am Sunday-Thursday, 11 pm-2 am Friday and Saturday). It includes chicken karaage, izakaya-style wagyu beef skewers, and a flatbread topped with fresh, chopped salmon and yuzu kosho, and pickled red onions.
Kanpai Club will also serve small plates from the Hando menu such as Brussels sprouts, shisito peppers, and wagyu gyoza.
The drinks appeal to a wide selection of tastes. Those looking for something on the boozier end may opt for The Audacity, a mix of mezcal, sherry, passion fruit, pineapple, and lime. Everything’s Lychee Keen puts the concept’s spin on the popular lychee martini. Wine, sake, and beer round out the offerings.
Beyond the differences in menus, Andaya notes that the vibe at Kanpai Club will be different than at Hando. Hand rolls are designed to be consumed quickly. Even with drinks and an appetizer, dinner with three or four rolls might only last 45 minutes. Kanpai Club will allow its patrons to linger a bit.
“At Hando, it can be a very fast experience. This is a little more relaxed,” Andaya notes.
Kanpai Club opens at 4 pm daily. Happy hour is available until 6 pm.