"For Sale: New York hibachi restaurant built from 16th-century samurai farmhouse" certainly isn't typical listing copy at Houlihan Lawrence Commercial Group, but alas, there's a first for everything.
In the 1970s, restauranteur Shiro Aoki went the extra mile than most to create an authentic atmosphere for diners by importing historic “Gasho” dwellings from Japan's rugged Hida region. So named for the pitch of their roofs resembling praying hands (the word's literal translation), the unique structures are national treasures in Japan, dating to a post-civil war period of the 12th century civil wars when survivors of a conquered clan first built them. Some lore suggests that their lines were intentional, symbolizing gratitude towards the conflict's victors in allowing them to retreat to tranquil, rural lifestyles. The rather poignant circumstances of their construction take further root in their framework: as the Japanese venerated wood as a material, the Gasho homes were erected without a single nail being driven, instead utilizing rope to draw their beams together.
Aoki, the younger brother of wrestler-turned-teppanyaki tycoon Rocky Aoki, built an entire brand recreating the historic structures, importing them piece-by-piece to America and carefully reconstructing the storied structures with modern methods to house his eateries, appropriately dubbed Gasho of Japan. The Hawthorne location at 6 Saw Mill River Road was a Westchester staple, giving countless locals their first taste of hibachi cuisine. Most recently, the eatery has operated as Hida, operated by a former Gasho chef who revitalized the restaurant and brought it into the 21st century.
The 2.8+ acre property retains its every splendor, surrounded by scenic plantings, a koi pond and seasonal blossoms in typical fashion for Japanese gardens. Currently zoned as restaurant/retail, the 5,942 square foot building, a modern reconstruction within its historic framework, is currently set up as a turnkey hibachi-style restaurant, with 20+ community tables and hoods, a bar and kitchens. The parking boasts spaces for a whopping 98 vehicles, and being located just a quarter mile from Saw Mill Parkway Exit 25, they won't have to travel far. Numerous executive parks release no shortage of patrons by 5pm every weekdays, and additional attractions like Captain Lawrence Brewing Company down the road keep the area plenty busy on Saturdays and Sundays.
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