About

Kumo Izakaya

An izakaya is not just a restaurant or a bar: an izakaya is place where eating and drinking take equal parts. But it is more than this: it is a meeting place, somewhere to bond and forget the worries of the day. Izakayas started as local eating places, where the locals would finish work and go to their izakaya, have a couple of drinks and stay for an hour or 10. In Japan izakayas are known for their ‘homeliness’-everyone knows your name and you are welcome whether you are alone or with friends.

Izakayas have a great range of small and large dishes ordered as-you-like-it as the night unfolds. You don’t have to choose between sashimi, deep fried, meat, vegetarian or other copious choices of food, beer, sake or drinks-just have a bit of everything and share. Izakayas are the perfect blend of bar and food.

Kumo is the destination izakaya for Japanophiles: those Japan-obsessed people who want to get inside the izakaya culture and experience it in an immersive (not dumbed-down) way.

Interesting stuff about Kumo:

“Kumo’ means ‘cloud’ in Japanese. It also means ‘spider’. The swirly spirals of our logo come from scientific diagrams of cloud movement.

Our Front of House crew are wearing way-cool Onitsuka Tiger shoes.

Location

Kumo is Here

ADDRESS: 152 Lygon St. East Brunswick, VIC, 3057
(We are further north on Lygon Street, NOT Carlton)
BOOKINGS: (03) 9388 1505 or BOOK ONLINE
ENQUIRIES: info@kumoizakaya.com.au

Trams 1 (East Coburg—South Melbourne Beach) and 8 (Moreland—Toorak) pass right by our door. Alight at stop 122.

Limited on-street parking is available along O’Connor Street.

The People

Sake Master

Andre Bishop

Owner

 

Kumo Izakaya founder and owner Andre Bishop is one of Melbourne’s quiet achievers in hospitality. A self-confessed Japanophile and sake connoisseur, he’s the man behind the revitalisation of Japanese institution Izakaya Chuji on Lonsdale Street In Melbourne. He also created Izakaya Chuji’s South Melbourne offshoot. Andre is also behind Nihonshu Sake & Shochu Bar in Melbourne’s CBD, his first venue dedicated to his prime passion of sake.

Other venues that have seen Andre’s touch are the pioneering Japanese pop culture Robot Bar as well as the multi-award winning Golden Monkey (inspired by the 1920s opium dens and bars of Shanghai).

He is an Official Ambassador of Sake, earning the prestigious title of Sake Samurai from the Japan Sake Brewers association and also the Australian Brand Ambassador for one of Japan’s most highly praised breweries, Dassai.

Seung Yeop Ryu

Chef de Cuisine

 

Having moved from Seoul to Melbourne in 2009, Seung has worked in number of top restaurants during the past 8 years before stepping into the Head Chef position at Kumo Izakaya in 2016.

He refined his Japanese cuisine knowledge and skills at Komeyui, and further enhanced his art under the guidance of top chef Martin Horsley at no35 Sofitel. Trained to blend European & modern Australian cuisine to delight the diner, Seung now uses his skill and passion to create a unique and eclectic experience of Japanese and Korean dishes.

Design

Japanese Art

Kumo Izakaya and Sake Bar stands proud at the corner of Lygon and O’Connor Streets in Brunswick East. The building is iconic to the area and was built in 1956 – we know this because the bricks have the souvenir Olympics rings released during the Melbourne Olympics. Originally a bank, it took us two days to cut through the vault to make our sake store!

This old bank was transformed in Kumo Izakaya by Bryce Ritchie (artisan builder and craftsman from Richie Built Designer Builders – winners of the Award for Sustainable Architecture 2010), who worked as lead designer in a collaborative team involving architect Victor Isobe (from Zen Design, known in Melbourne for Yu-U, Heirloom and Tempura Hajime) and owners Andre and Jo Bishop.

The eclectic Japanese design style seamlessy blends industrial and Art Deco influences.

Every detail of the design at Kumo has been considered and reconsidered in an meticulous process of finding a whimsical yet true balance between: the beautiful bones of the historic building, which reflect the Japanese notes of its natural materials (stone, wood, concrete, steel & glass) and simple, modernist proportions; and featuring the natural synergy between industrial Japanese and Art Deco.

As the design evolved, we were inspired by the influence of Japanese art, primarily ukiyo-e woodblock prints on modernist architects (most notably Frank Lloyd Wright). The wood block prints that first arrived in Europe in the late 1880s were the seed of Art Nouveau – the new aesthetic that distinguished itself away from frilly Victorian detail & realism and towards flowing, natural, botanically-inspired shapes and simple 2D flat geometry. We saw the ‘borrowed’ patterns and shapes taken from the Japanese design and widely copied within Art Nouveau and, later, Art Deco an extension of Art Nouveau that simplified and moved toward a more machine-oriented and streamlined industrial aesthetic.

You’ll find many recycled ‘found objects’ from the original 1956 decor as well as great use of recycled Victorian Ash and Tassie Oak (in particular the eight metre communal table, which seats 26, and the 15 metre bar, seating 18). You’ll also find 1930s inspired, bespoke made bar stools and chairs (modelled on a traditional machinist’s chair) with hand-crafted iron frames, and dusky dark green and blue leather seats. Special care has been taken to source hand-painted lamp shades reminiscent of those found in the State Library Reading Room – which create pools of light that welcome intimate conversation. Many of the details at Kumo have been hand made by local craftspeople and artisan builders and we’re extremely proud of Kumo.

Whether your’re at the bar, on the communal table, or huddled in a booth, there’s something for everyone – including a 10-seater tatami room for private dining.

Other restaurant

Sister Spots

Kumo founder and co-owner Andre Bishop is one of Melbourne’s quiet achievers in hospitality.

He’s the man behind the revitalisation of Japanese institution Izakaya Chuji, on Lonsdale Street In Melbourne. He also created Izakaya Chuji’s South Melbourne offshoot.

Andre is also behind Nihonshu Sake & Shochu Bar in Melbourne’s CBD.

Other venues that have seen Andre’s touch are the pioneering Japanese pop culture Robot Bar as well as the multi-award winning Golden Monkey (inspired by the 1920s opium dens and bars of Shanghai).