Lordfer Lalicon, Mark Berdin and Jennifer Banagale are headed to Japan Monday for a month. When they get back, they hope to bring with them suitcases of Japanese goodies with which to stock Konbini – their one-stop shop konbini
(or convenience store) that will take the place of the highly lauded Kappo at East End Market
While in Japan, the trio will also take additional courses to further their knowledge of all things sake (they're all certified sake professionals).
"So many people in Orlando are unaware of how good sake can be," says Lalicon. "We want to educate them and show them that there's more to sake than the bullshit offered at so many restaurants."
Indeed, sake classes will be offered at Konbini, as will sundry Japanese foods such as onigiri, chirashi, Japanese sodas, rice, pickles, pre-packaged ice cream, soups, to-go meals and more. They're even looking at placing an ATM inside the store, as well as offering early-morning and late-night hours.
When asked about a potential new restaurant to fill the void Kappo left when it closed, Lalicon says things are in the works.
"The restaurant will be in the Audubon Park/Mills 50 area, and will have a 15-seat maximum," he divulges. "We're calling it 'Project X' as we don't have a name for it as yet, and it will open by the end of the year."
Needless to say, we anxiously await.
Follow progress on the konbini and restaurant on their Instagram