A highly-rated York restaurant is to close next month after little more than a year.

Izakaya opened at 21 Grape Lane to a great fanfare in November 2022 with its Japanese-fusion cooking, that came with a twist of Yorkshire.

Created by Danny Victory and Adam Johnson, the restaurant on the site of the former Wilde’s Bar and Bistro, was earning rave reviews on Tripadvisor and elsewhere.

But as hospitality faces tough times amid an ongoing cost-of-living crisis, it was not meant to be, despite their hard work and best efforts.


Adam, who was the operations director, stresses the business has not gone into administration or anything, but rather put on hold for when better times return.

“The Izakaya brand is on hiatus, we hope to re-open at a later date,” he told the Press.

Adam plans to take-over the lease of the property where Izakaya has operated for 14 months, promising “a big announcement” in February, when he is ready.

Chef Danny will keep the Izakaya brand but is still considering his future.

York Press: A range of Japanese delights

In a joint statement the pair say they poured their “hearts and souls” into the restaurant and they are grateful to their staff, suppliers and customers.

Looking back, they explained: “From our humble beginnings as a small plate restaurant, we found our feet as a place of experimentation and tried our various service styles, from small plates to tasting menu.

“However, as we navigated through the changing seasons, cost pressures of rising energy bills, labour costs, ingredients and our unwavering commitment to building a sustainable operation was challenging.

“We have worked tirelessly to craft an excellent product and restaurant, ultimately these external pressures have taken their toll.”

York Press:

The pair continued: “With a year of effort behind us, we acknowledge our journey with a sense of responsibility and humility. External challenges, a tough market, and increased operational costs created an environment where crafting a financially sustainable business proved to be elusive.

“Acknowledging these challenges, we have made the decision to cease operations finally on 23rd February.”

The restaurant will offer its Winter Omakase menu and current menus until February 10th.

A  Valentine Omakase Tasting Menu on February 14th promises to be a fitting conclusion to their chapter.

York Press: Izakaya at 21 Grape Lane

This will then be followed by an ever-changing menu from February 15th to the 23rd, celebrating Izakaya’s diverse dishes of the past year.

In the meantime, Danny and Adam urge diners to enjoy a memorable final experience, bidding farewell to Izakaya’s diverse offerings, until perhaps a year or two from now, when better economic conditions allow them all to be put back on the menu.

For any inquiries or concerns, please contact Adam at reservations@izakaya-york.co.uk or call the restaurant at 01904 610370.

To explore the menus and relive the memories, go to: www.izakaya-york.co.uk