Jaya Payadnya looked for years for a comfortable location to open a new restaurant. Then he visited Hillsboro. Now the Ohayo Japanese Steakhouse will tentatively open here next month.
It will be located at 1256 N. High St. in a strip mall across from Highland District Hospital. The plan is to open the doors the first or second week in August, pending inspections.
It will employee approximately five to 10 servers, five hosts or hostesses, a bar tender and a dishwasher, “depending on how we break up shifts and how long people can work,” according to Jaya’s wife, Sasha Payadnya, a Chillicothe native who works for the Jackson County Health Department and will be a part-time employee and co-owner of the restaurant with her husband.
Applications are currently being accepted. They are available on the restaurant website — ohayojapanesesteakhouse.com — and can be filled out on the website, sent in by mail or dropped off at the restaurant. The couple hopes to have its staff hired in the next couple weeks.
Originally from Bali, Indonesia, Jaya has been a habachi chef for 18 years, including the past eight years in Chillicothe, living out his lifelong dream.
“Cooking, by itself, is a big part of Indonesia, especially the Balinese culture,” Sasha said. “He and his brother decided they wanted to come to America and learn to cook.”
The brother latched on to Western style cooking, but Sasha said her husband liked working with forks and knives and went the oriental route.
“He had been looking for the past eight years for a location that mirrored Chillicothe,” Sasha said. “He had a couple come in and tell him about a place in Hillsboro, he came and checked it out, and ended up signing a contract.”
For the time being, Sasha said, Ohayo (pronounced Ohio) food will be cooked in the kitchen. But she said if things work out, in a couple years they hope to have open tables where the chefs cook in front of customers.
The menu will include a Japanese take on hibachi food, stir fry, teriyaki plates served on hot dishes, a sushi bar, and other items similar to those regularly found in a Japanese steakhouse. It will also offer fried ice cream and alcoholic beverages.
There will likely be a soft opening, Sasha said, with friends and family coming in to train the staff.
Once the restaurant is open, she said there will be specials where anyone with a group of six or more will get a free meal on their birthday, or a 50-percent birthday discount with a party of three to five. She said there will regular 10 percent discounts for hospital staff, first responders, teachers, or anyone in the public service field.
“Our response for opening has been great so far,” Sasha said. “Everywhere we go … everyone has been totally welcoming and totally excited about the restaurant coming to Hillsboro and willing to help us out anyway they can. It’s a great community and we want to be here for a while.”
For more information the restaurant can be reached at 937-661-6106. Sasha said messages can be left since the restaurant is not yet open, or for a quicker response contact the website.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.