Dining musical chairs in downtown Jackson

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Names, places, menus will all be shuffling around a bit in the coming months as restaurants come and go and scramble about.

Zarina and Eric Sakai, owners of The Phoenix and The Dragon. (Courtesy)

The Phoenix and the Dragon, a Chinese-style noodle eatery which has operated out of Whole Grocer for much of the 2018 year, looks to go brick-and-mortar with its own place this month.

The Phoenix and the Dragon will open soon at 145 N. Glenwood Street in the space most recently occupied by Planet Palate. Before that it was Bagel Jax. It’s right next door to The Kitchen, which was home to the original Lotus until it moved and closed and is now going to become a Japanese Restaurant…but more on that later. Still with us?

The Phoenix and the Dragon is a family run business if there ever was one, owned and operated by husband and wife team, Eric and Zarina Sakai. The couple’s career spans more than 15 years working acclaimed establishments in Honolulu, Maui, the San Francisco Bay Area, Carlsbad, and now Jackson Hole.

Both are graduates of The Culinary Institute of America. In 2015, Eric won Food & Wine Magazine’s award for People’s Best New Chef Northwest & Pacific. He was also named one of the 8 Most Exciting Chefs in the West by Thrillist. Zarina is a certified wine professional and certified specialist of wine.

Back to Lotus. After its move to 140 N. Cache following a successful launch at 155 N. Glenwood, the newer, bigger, more expensive to operate restaurant closed in August under a mountain of bills. That has opened the door now for Sudachi owners to open a second space called Suda. They hope to have the Japanese restaurant open by February.

The folks from Butter Café in Victor will be opening a second, pop-up coffee place in the Aspens beginning December 15. Butter 2 will take over the space formerly occupied by Ski Barre. It is near Elevated Grounds, which is closed for good.

In other moves, Momo Shack will be sliding into Bon Appe Thai spot at 245 W. Pearl Ave soon later this month. And watch for Kim’s Corner to expand into as Asian eatery in the one-time Ocean City building on Broadway.

Kim’s Corner menu


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