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Restaurateur launches latest Asian-inspired concept

Kojo is the third establishment in Hi Hospitality Group’s Florida portfolio.

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  • | 2:13 p.m. February 23, 2021
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  • Manatee-Sarasota
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SARASOTA — Chef and restaurateur Natalia Levey and the multi-concept restaurant group Hi Hospitality Group have opened Kojo, a new restaurant in downtown Sarasota at 1289 N. Palm Ave.

The doors opened to the new Asian eatery Feb. 17, according to a press release. Kojo is the third establishment in Hi Hospitality Group’s Florida portfolio, joining the Italian seafood restaurant Speaks Clam Bar and the upcoming Central Park St. Pete Food Hall.

Levey collaborated with a team of restaurant industry professionals to develop the concept. The menu includes miso soup, sushi rolls, crispy nori sushi tacos, garlic ponzu grilled Gulf oysters and kimchi fried rice, the release states. 

The restaurant's influences span the Asian continent. The concept was inspired by the time Levey spent living and traveling the area as well as her and her husband’s appreciation of the region's dishes and culture.

“We’re thrilled to offer a splendid space and an exceptional menu that will become an integral part of Sarasota’s dining scene,” says Levey in the statement. “We want our food, cocktails and hospitality to provide guests with a unique and memorable experience.”

The press release says Beverage Director David Roth has worked in some of New York City’s most prestigious bars and restaurants. He will supervise the spirits behind Kojo's bar program. Roth has curated a list of craft cocktails, local beers, international wines and top-shelf spirits. 

Levey, founder of Hi Hospitality Group, is originally from Russia. The statement says she has extensive international culinary and wellness experience. She has traveled to over 40 countries and taught and cooked around the world. She received her culinary training at the Art Institute of New York, graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is certified as a nutritional consultant from The American Association of Nutritional Consultants.


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