Yardbird_Hong_Kong_Interior_promo.jpg Yardbird Hong Kong

Yardbird Hong Kong is coming to the U.S.

Acclaimed izakaya concept plans a Los Angeles location under a new identity

Yardbird Hong Kong — a Japanese-style izakaya restaurant in Hong Kong that was named one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2013 and 2014 — is planning to open its first United States location in Los Angeles later this year.

The U.S. location, however, will not operate under the same name.

According to the terms of a trademark lawsuit settled last year with the parent of Miami-based Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, Yardbird Hong Kong has agreed to change its name in any U.S. iteration of the brand.

Although the two Yardbirds share a similar name, that is where the similarities end. Yardbird Hong Kong is known for its yakitori-style grilled meats, noodles and rice with an average entrée price of $20.

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Yardbird Southern Table & Bar — owned and operated by Miami-based 50 Eggs Inc. hospitality group — is a growing casual-dining fried chicken and waffles eatery with an average entrée price of $34 and four locations globally. A fifth unit is reportedly scheduled to open in Dallas next year.

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar opened its Los Angeles location in April 2018.

The name of Yardbird Hong Kong’s upcoming restaurant has not yet been announced, but the website yardbirdrestaurant.com redirects visitors to Chicken and Charcoal “coming soon” to downtown Los Angeles. In November, Yardbird Hong Kong executive chef Matt Abergel published a cookbook memoir by the same name.

A Yardbird Hong Kong representative would not confirm whether or not Chicken and Charcoal was the new identity of Yardbird Hong Kong in the U.S. or any details. A New York Times report indicated the Los Angeles location would be a spinoff of the original yakitori concept.

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Yardbird Hong Kong has not officially changed its name, but the restaurant — which also owns sister restaurant Ronin, a Japanese seafood and whisky bar — has tacked on Hong Kong at the end of its name in all references in the United States in order to avoid further confusion or legal discrepancies.

The 2018 legal dispute was settled in September after Yardbird dropped its trademark request, according to court documents. Yardbird Hong Kong declined to comment specifically on the settlement. 

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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