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Little Octopus is permanently closed in the Gulch as chef and owner Sarah Gavigan reporposes the space for Bar Otaku: A Japanese Izakaya. Gavigan, who also owns Otaku Ramen and POP Nashville, plans to open the new restaurant — a type of Japanese bar with small dishes and alcoholic drink for the after-work crowd — Saturday, Jan. 12.
“We’ve had a blast with Little Octopus and appreciate all of the love and support we’ve received over the past two years," said Gavigan, who released her debut cookbook, Ramen Otaku: Mastering Ramen at Home, in November.
"Now that we are more familiar with the neighborhood and the needs of the city, it’s simply the right time for a change. We’re fully invested in the Otaku community and have seen the growth of the brand and culture move quickly, so this was the natural next step for us. It’s been a longtime dream of mine to open an izakaya in Nashville.”
What's on the menu?
The menu is "large and varied," Gavigan said on Instagram, featuring snacks like “Flying Saucer” gyoza, okonomiyaki, sashimi, handrolls, and yakitori grilled skewers.
The bar will have Japanese and domestic beers, sake, shochu and Japanese whisky. You can also expect to see Highballs, Hi-Chus, and pitchers of Sapporo to wash down the Japanese soul food on the menu.
Once open, the renovated space will feature communal seating and private booths, with dark walls lined with art and illustrations from both local graffiti artists and Otaku artists from galleries across the country. The 2,700-square-foot space has 103 seats, including nine at the bar and 10 at the chef’s counter.
Bar Otaku will be open daily from 4 p.m. to late night.
Dylan Skye Aycock is a Nashville-based journalist and photographer. As a reporter for Rover, Aycock follows transportation, housing and retail trends, as well as other hyperlocal and city-wide issues that affect residents in Green Hills and Belle Meade.
She previously contributed written and visual content to The Murfreesboro Pulse, American Songwriter Magazine and The Tennessean. Aycock earned a journalism degree from Middle Tennessee State University, where she honed her craft as editor-in-chief of Sidelines, the university's student-run publication. When she's not out on assignment or live-tweeting city council meetings, you can find her discovering new local spots or catching a show at one of Nashville's many music venues.