Japanese restaurant celebrates 45 years in Atlanta

When it comes to Atlanta’s busy and competitive culinary scene, it’s impressive when a restaurant opens at all, let alone finds a crowd and remains in business.  So one Japanese restaurant deserves its big anniversary celebration this month, as it looks back on 45 years of feeding the city.

Nakato is known as “Atlanta’s first authentic Japanese restaurant,” and was first opened by Tetsuko Nakato back in 1972.  Since then, the restaurant has been operated by Nakato’s daughter, and now her granddaughter, which means three generations of Nakato women have run the family business.  Nakato is known for its extensive Japanese menu, consisting of both traditional and hibachi dining along with a full sushi bar, and hires chefs born and trained in Japan to ensure the cuisine remains authentic.

To celebrate the milestone 45th anniversary, Good Day Atlanta’s Paul Milliken spent the morning with current owner Sachi Nakato and her mother (who flew in from Japan for the occasion), looking back on the restaurant’s fascinating history.