“Every restaurant that’s been around for a long time can tell you they’ve hit lows, and they’ve hit highs, but they’ll find ways to hang in there,” Jinbeh owner Aya Matsuda said. “This one was a monster—it was a beast—because we were forced to close our doors.”
Hibachi and sushi are meant to be eaten directly after they are prepared, Matsuda said, so staying open without being able to use the dining room was not feasible.
“Once they allowed us to open back up again, we did right away,” she said.
The restaurant stayed busy after reopening, according to Matsuda. But as coronavirus case totals have risen again, business has noticeably dropped.
“We’re optimistic right now,” she said. “We do have a plan in place if we do shut down. When we’re ready to open again, we’ll open.”
The pandemic has slightly changed the atmosphere in Jinbeh’s dining room, where strangers used to bump elbows around the open grill. Now, couples sit on opposite ends of the six-foot-long tables, and seats are left open when larger parties come in.
“We’re cooking for a lot smaller parties,” Matsuda said. “There’s a little less talking.”
One thing the pandemic has not changed is the quality of food that Jinbeh offers, even as the prices of meat and other vendor items rise, Matsuda said.
That, and the restaurant’s head chefs, create phenomenal food for their guests, Matsuda said.
Because Jinbeh is a family-owned business, many members of the staff have become like family to Matsuda over the years.
“It’s just awesome because we all know each other, and we all love each other,” she said.
That familial bond makes surviving these tough economic times even more important, Matsuda said.
“We financially sacrifice ourselves for our [staff],” Matsuda said. “They’re the most important [part] in the company—they’re all family.”
2440 S. Stemmons Freeway, Ste. A, Lewisville
Lunch: Mon.-Fri.: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.,
Sat.-Sun.: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Dinner: Sun.-Thu.: 5-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5-10 p.m.