Izakaya Meiji Co.Photo by Todd Cooper

Meiji Makes a Comeback

After six months as Junglefowl, Izakaya Meiji announces a triumphant return

On Oct. 4 Izakaya Meiji shocked foodies of Eugene by announcing that the Western-themed izakaya was undergoing a makeover and would now be called Junglefowl. 

The restaurant traded its cowboy boots and onigiris for chicken dishes inspired by various cultures across the globe. Head chef Alex Dakers called the change an opportunity to start something fresh that matches the reality of post-pandemic dining. 

Six months later the izakaya-turned-chicken-inspired restaurant, Junglefowl, decided to end the poultry rebrand once and for all and go back to its roots as Izakaya Meiji. On Wednesday, April 24 Junglefowl posted on Instagram and Facebook that it has decided to give Meiji another chance. 

“I think we underestimated just how much people love Meiji,” Dakers says. “There was a public outcry for Meiji when we closed and six months later people were still genuinely wanting us back.”

While Dakers says he is sad that Junglefowl didn’t work out the way they intended it to, he is excited to go back to Meiji. 

“Six months is truly a blip compared to the 13-year legacy Meiji had,” Dakers says.

Dakers says he’s hoping to emulate classic, pre-pandemic Meiji by reintroducing beef to its menu with the Carpaccio salad made with seared steak, curry udon with beef and a mushroom option for vegetarians and bringing back the classic Meiji burger. 

In an effort to not bring back a “half-assed Meiji,” as Dakers puts it, the restaurant hasn’t quite worked out an opening day yet, but is hoping to be back in full swing on May 10. 

“I have so much love for Meiji,” Dakers says. “It’s not too late to go back home.”

Junglefowl is open at 345 Van Buren Street, open 11:30 am to 10 pm Thursday and Sunday and open 11:30 am to 11 pm Friday and Saturday. Closed on Monday through Wednesday. 541-505-8804. JunglefowlEug.com.

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