Now it’s really time to say goodbye to Eastlake Teriyaki, which shut down in 2013 after an impressive 30 years serving the city’s unassuming and unofficial signature dish.
Blind Pig Bistro next door, the latest in a string of superb restaurants in the unlikely strip mall spot, initially took it over as as a “tasty mishmash” of globally-inspired sandwiches and other casual fare. They named it “Blind Pig at Eastlake Teriyaki” with a nod to its history.
Now, though, the teriyaki storefront is temporarily closed for construction (though the main Blind Pig Bistro remains open.) The side business will be reborn as Babirusa, which the owners described as Blind Pig’s “next door bar and casual eatery.” It will have a full bar (Blind Pig currently doesn’t) and boast the same kitchen team. What to expect on the table? A rep said that “The menu is not set in stone, but will include quality, approachable eats like a burger, hot dog, or fish and chips. There will also be a rotating menu of tapas-style specials that will reflect the seasons. There won’t be much cross over, if any, between the Blind Pig at Eastlake Teriyaki menu and the Babirusa menu, but there may be the occasional sandwiches on the menu modeled after the more successful sandwiches of its Eastlake Teriyaki days.”
And why the name change? The nod to the teriyaki joint made sense in the beginning, when it shared a similar purpose (quick lunchtime eats, that is), but now it’s a completely different, ah, animal. The new name, Babirusa, comes from the genus of the pig hanging at the bistro.
The new space could be open by May.