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(Image courtesy of Rondo)

A dragon-themed izakaya restaurant is coming to Capitol Hill very, very soon

Seattle diners already have something to look forward to in 2020 - a new establishment by Suika and Tamari Bar owner, Makoto Kimoto.

Capitol Hill is gaining the new Japanese izakaya restaurant as early as the first weeks of January. Rondo will serve up everything from ramen to bento boxes to donburi. Open for lunch and early dinner, the spot will be perfect for slurping down some noodles before going out on the hill. Or—as Kimoto plans to do—after yoga.

Kimoto has plenty of exciting things planned for his newest creation, including a fizz-focused drink menu, with bubbly cocktails made using a highball machine. According to Kimoto, you can expect your highball Japanese whisky soda to be twice as bubbly as your champagne. One of these drinks will run you a pretty standard $14 Capitol Hill cocktail price, so keep your eyes peeled for happy hour rates.

For food, expect plenty of classics with fresh twists. Think bento box takeout, charcoal meat skewers and an extensive vegan menu. Kimoto says there may even be some gluten-free options. The menu will offer plenty of small dishes, izakaya-style, with the goal that people eat, drink and stay awhile. Dessert lovers will delight in the matcha ice cream parfaits blessing Rondo’s Instagram feed.

“The kitchen is huge, so I want to maximize that space,” says Kimoto. That means plenty of experimenting with a different menu from Rondo’s sister restaurants.

Rondo’s decor aims for a modern adaptation of a classic story.

“My favorite thing is the dragon,” Kimoto said. “So I did blue tiles for the dragon going into the water. I based the design on a Japanese fairytale.”

Expect dark blue tones, wall-length mirrors, chandeliers and rows of empty whisky bottles to greet you as you walk through the door. You’ll also find glass dragons and robot figurines throughout the space.

For now, Rondo will be open between 11:30 am to 9:00 p.m. But Kimoto is hoping to expand those hours after the restaurant is up and running.