Suno desserts is one member JASG is aiming to support. It has closed one of its two local locations.

As Atlanta restaurants shut their doors to foot traffic, they’re increasingly asking customers to do what they can to ensure the coronavirus-induced lull is indeed temporary. The Japan-America Society of Georgia is doing its part, publishing a list of member establishments open to accepting investments in the future of the Japanese (and Asian) food scene in Atlanta. (See the full list at bottom)

The hit list is a mix of Japanese mainstays for lunch and dinner, like Nakato, Taka Sushi and Wagaya, which have shifted fully to takeout and delivery. It also includes purveyors of drinks and desserts like Suno, Boba Mocha and Beard Papas cream puffs, which started in Japan and now has stores in 15 countries, including two in metro Atlanta. 

Beyond restaurants, the list includes retailers like American Tombow, a stationery store offering a 20 percent discount to JASG members, and service providers like Bigler ESL, which will offer a free English training session targeted at Japanese professionals via webinar this Friday. 

The society is following the example of other binational groups like the French-American Chamber of Commerce Southeast, which are working to support local organizations connected to their respective countries. 

More broadly, restaurants have been responding creatively to an unprecedented challenge that has caused many to lay off or furlough staff. 

One solution has been issuing “dining bonds” that mature at a date when the crisis is expected to have passed. Returns come in the form of a greater credit to the restaurant than their original investment. In the case of the fast-casual chain Gusto, a $100 bond purchase translates to $150 in food after July. 

Other hard-hit restaurants have urged gift-card purchases which effectively can act as short-term, interest-free loans. Some have edited their menus to make them more portable,  like Northern China Eatery on Buford Highway selling its signature dumplings in a frozen format.

The JASG’s full list of members to support is below, and the society is asking that suggestions for other local Japanese businesses to support be sent to Global Atlanta will also update the list below in accordance with the JASG’s list: 

To learn how to become a JASG member, click here

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...