Swimming to Williamsburg

The chef at Brooklyn's Okonomi is planning a Japanese-style fish store

Despite being surrounded by water, New York City is sorely lacking in strong fish markets. Yes, there is excellent seafood at the counter at Eataly, at the sustainable Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. and in Chelsea Market. But the city is short on high-quality neighborhood fish shops, the kind where mongers behind the counter don't just weigh your fish but actually teach you how to best prepare it at home.

It's a problem that Yuji Haraguchi, the owner of Williamsburg's celebrated Japanese restaurant (and breakfast destination) Okonomi knows well. Since opening three years ago, diners have regularly asked him and his team where they can buy premium seafood. "There is not a lot of places that I can recommend with confidence," he says in a Kickstarter video that launched today. "So, I have decided to open a local, Japanese-style fish market."

At the market, which will be called Osakana, Haraguchi hopes to sell a rotating selection of about 10 fish, with trained chefs on hand to help introduce shoppers to less familiar fish and instruct them on how to prepare them at home, Eater NY reports. There will also be cooking classes taught by Haraguchi and, if funding exceeds his $50,000 goal, there may also be a ramen counter and/or a space for omakase dinners paired with Japanese whisky.

The store, which will likely be in Williamsburg, won't look like a typical fish shop. Renderings of the space are minimalist, with white walls and large planks of wood that make it look more like a very fancy coffee shop.

As he says in his pitch: "Happy customers, happy staff, happy fish."

Find Okonomi here, or in our DINE app.