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The interior of a Japanese restaurant dining room in Detroit, Michigan.

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Walk Down the Stairs of the Book Tower and Find Upscale Japanese

The Japanese pub on the ground level serves Sailor Moon cocktails and katsu sandos

Olsovsky Williams
Serena Maria Daniels is the editor for Eater Detroit.

Downtown Detroit has welcomed its newest Japanese dining experience within the historic Book Tower with the opening this month of Hiroki-San and Sakazuki. As of January 11, both establishments began welcoming their first guests.

Conceptualized and operated by Philly-based Method Co., Hiroki-San is inspired by the original, Eater Award finalist restaurant, Hiroki. Set in the lower level of Book Tower, the 4,100-square-foot space has been renovated to incorporate the Book Tower’s original plaster walls with a modern aesthetic in neutral earth tones and moody lighting. There’s seating for up to 108 guests — including seating for up to nine at the sushi counter, 12 at the chef’s counter, and a 16-seat private dining room. As for the food, the menu leans in on shareable plates made with ingredients imported directly from Japan each week. Diners can expect items like robatayaki and yakitori skewers grilled using Binchotan charcoal, three regional varieties of wagyu, noodles, and sushi. To drink, there’s an emphasis on sake, as well as cocktails like the Bamboo Cutter made with umeshu, chilled jasmine tea, and peach.

A wooden surface bar with seating on both sides, ceiling lighting, some shelves on a wall. Olsovsky Williams
Some pieces of sushi served on a black square surface and places on a wooden table. Olsovsky Williams
The interior of a Japanese style bar in downtown Detroit, Michigan.
The interior of Sakazuki, a Japanese-style pub, now open in the Book Tower
Olsovsky Williams

On the street level sits Sakazuki, described as a Japanese-style pub featuring a sake-by-the-glass menu, katsu sandos, as well as wagyu hamburgers and hot dogs and ekiben, which a media release describes as being akin to the bento boxes commonly sold at train stations in Japan. Cocktails like the the Sailor Moon and the Hello, Kat offer fruity, but not so subtle winks at Japanese pop culture. Sakazuki has seating for 37. The design is also inspired by Japanese pop-culture, nightlife, and anime, and also features custom ceramic tile work curated by Architectural Ceramics of Japan, according to the news announcement.

Hiroki-San and Sakazuki are the last of the five new food and drink tenants to have set up shop in the Book Tower, the Louis Kamper-designed landmark set along downtown’s Washington Boulevard Historic District. The Italian Renaissance-style skyscraper and accompanying 13-story Book Building in downtown’s Washington Boulevard Historic District had sat vacant since 2009 until Bedrock purchased both structures in 2015 and embarked on a seven-year, $300 million-plus renovation. The Book Tower is also home to the ROOST Apartment Hotel, high-end apartments, and Anthology Events, Book Tower’s events offering managed by Method Co.

Hiroki-San and Sakazuki are at 1265 Washington Boulevard. Hiroki-San is open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Sakazuki is open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 4 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Reservations are recommended for seating at Hiroki-San.

Correction: January 26, 2024, 5:20 p.m.: This article was corrected from its original version to reflect the current menu offerings at Hiroki-San.

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