The U.S. is home to a melting pot of cultures. A large percentage of the population consists of immigrants, and many of them get their start through the restaurant business. At first, these businesses were catered for their fellow immigrants but throughout the years, many locals have enjoyed the authentic cuisine of these different cultures. Asian cuisine has become a popular food trend. From deserts to savory meals, consumers can’t get enough of these Asian treats.
There are many Asian restaurants in almost every state; this article lists the best contractors who have built these restaurants. These contractors have a range of projects in the hospitality industry but some of their best work are Asian restaurants. Found in different states, these contractors were chosen based on their area of expertise, media recognition, and body of work. Standout projects from each firm were also featured so readers can have an idea of their aesthetic.
258 Elm St. Ste #200, Somerville MA 02144
Thomas K. Clark has worked in the construction industry for more than ten years before establishing Ashling Inc. in 2003. The firm specializes in restaurant and retail development. It has designed and constructed for many up and coming independent restaurants in Boston. Many of its clients have been featured on Eater, an online food guide for some of the best independent restaurants found all over the U.S. One of its clients even won the 2018 Eater award for Design of the Year.
Boston Magazine featured Ruka Restobar Nikkei, one of Ashling Inc’s standout projects. The firm worked with Bergmeyer Architects, which praised the firm for its flexibility and proactive management. The firm used natural materials, and accessorized with colorful patterned tiles and murals. The restaurant’s focal point is an edgy mural with Japanese influences.
2600 N Main St., Walnut Creek, CA 94597
One of San Francisco’s most acclaimed restaurant design-builds is Bali Construction. For four consecutive years, it was named by San Francisco Business Times as the fastest-growing private company for four consecutive years. The firm became known in the industry by frequently collaborating with various architects, designers, and entrepreneurs. This has helped the firm invest in a network of industry professionals who can address every client’s needs.
Niku is a steakhouse in San Francisco that Bali Construction worked on. It’s a modern steakhouse with Japanese influence. The open grill set-up found in the restaurant is not always found in traditional steakhouses; this type of floor plan is used by sushi or teppanyaki restaurants. Niku wants the customers to see that it uses only the freshest ingredients, and this floor plan is a great modern innovation for a steakhouse.
804 11th Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
Award-winning Basile Studio specializes in designing hospitality projects for renowned restaurants and hotels. The San Diego studio is capable of numerous services like architecture, construction, and fabrication. Many design publications take notice of the firm because of its progressive works. The R+D Lab is Basile Studio’s interactive architecture department that integrates technology with design. The goal is to create an overall sensory experience through architecture.
The firm designed and constructed two of Tajima’s branches in California. Basile Studio patterned the Tajima East Village after the restaurant’s core values. It was inspired by Tajima’s appreciation of authentic Japanese cuisine fused with modern techniques. Basile Studio decided to stick with a dark monochromatic color palette to highlight the Japanese motif found all over the walls. Found in the backlit panels is a Japanese saying Tajima lives by: “When food is good, it’s good, and it proves you are alive”.
Build General Contractor
457 Minna St., San Francisco, CA 94103
Headquartered in California is Build General Contractor, one of the biggest commercial developers in the country. Since it was established in 2007, Build General Contractor has expanded to four branches with over 400 employees. The company has impressed many of its first customers so much that a large percent of its projects are repeat clients. Its clients come back for the firm’s certified and trained professional team. In fact, all of its senior management staff are accredited for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Build General Contractor constructed one of San Francisco’s biggest Asian restaurants. M.Y. China is a 181-seat restaurant that serves dishes created by acclaimed chef Martin Yan. The firm wanted to construct a modern restaurant that stays true to Chinese heritage. Made in partnership with BCV Architects, there are different dining areas that distinctly vary in design—much like M.Y. China’s diverse menu. Accents such as custom Eucalyptus woodwork and an 1800 pound bell imported from China were some of the restaurant’s focal points.
9105 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069
Acclaimed Interior Designer John Sofio is a prominent figure in the Los Angeles hospitality and nightlife industry. The designer is known for designing sophisticated bars with a modern design that appeals to both the young and old. Found in West Hollywood is the designer’s firm, Built Inc., a design-build firm that focuses on improving the brand of hospitality companies through architecture and branding. The goal of Built Hospitality Design Group is to interpret the client’s concepts through architecture, interior design, and brand design. Built Inc is one of the very few design-build companies that operate as a general contractor, and hospitality designer.
Blind Dragon is a bar and lounge in West Hollywood with influences from the underground scene of old Hong Kong. Upon entering, guests will go through a large door with gold Chinese accents. Inside is a bar with 1920s-inspired furnishing contrasted with traditional Chinese ornaments like these red lanterns. The restaurant and lounge also has a private karaoke room for its guests.
3050 Fletcher Dr., Los Angeles, California 90065
John Murawski has worked in various industries but he found his niche in construction during the ‘90s. Murawski constructed restaurants for many household names like Joachim Splichal and Wolfgang Puck. One of his most memorable projects was working on the famous Spago in Las Vegas. After working on different restaurant projects, Murawski decided to focus on providing commercial and residential projects for California residents. CalAsia Construction was founded in 2003 by Murawski with his wife, Myrna. The firm specializes in constructing restaurant projects, managed by its experienced founder.
After almost twenty years in the industry, CalAsia has completed more than 500 restaurant projects. The firm’s design portfolio includes fine dining, fast food, and franchise restaurants. One of its popular projects is the Ajisen Ramen restaurant. It’s a modern casual dining restaurant in Santa Monica that has a very hip design inspired by trendy Japanese fast foods. Unlike most ramen shops, the restaurant has a counter where diners can pick different toppings for their ramen. It’s an innovative design that is not usually associated with traditional ramen restaurants.
623 W 51st St Fl 2ND, New York, New York 10019
New York is home to some of the largest design firms in the country, but Certified Construction has stayed above the competition for more than 30 years by maintaining its humble size. It has remained a mid-sized firm over the years because Founder Michael Borrico wants a close-knit team that thrives in a nurturing environment. Borrico has been in the industry for years and believes that training his team to be friendly while being professional to customers is the company’s advantage. This culture has helped the firm build a strong relationship with not only its clients but also its designers, architects, and consultants.
One of its biggest restaurant projects is the Tetsu restaurant in the TriBeCa neighborhood. It’s a conceptual Japanese restaurant with three dining levels that have an open kitchen and suspended mezzanine. Certified Construction gave a chic industrial design for the dining areas. An example of this industrial influence is pairing the building’s original brickwork with dark exposed steel. This gave a modern sophisticated look, perfect for the modern Japanese restaurant.
516 N Hwy. 16, Denver, NC 28037
Initially known as a high-end residential builder, Gais Construction only began to offer commercial services in 1990. However, this quickly became a popular choice for restaurant distillery owners. Founder Lou Gais has been in the North Carolina construction industry for more than four decades. He is particularly experienced with construction management, making him well-versed with the state’s building codes. For this reason, many first-time business owners hire the firm for its expertise.
The firm’s services are very beneficial to its clients, especially business owners. Gais Construction guarantees a liability insurance that costs up to $4 million. Some household names that established its first branches in the area have entrusted the firm’s services. These include Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Papa Johns, and Sushi 101. Pisces Sushi was named Charlottesville’s best sushi restaurant and when it expanded the restaurant hired Gais Construction for its Mooresville branch.
Hospitality Construction Services Inc
840 Lake. Varuna Mews, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Despite being in business for less than ten years, Hospitality Construction Services (HCS) is Washington’s leading restaurant contractor. Founders Robert Mescolotto and Shawn Johnston are distinguished restaurant visionaries who have built HCS to focus on both high-end Michelin Star, Bib Gourmand, and Michelin Plate-rated restaurants, as well as fun, local establishments for up-and-coming restaurateurs. The firm has worked with some of D.C.’s finest restaurants, most of which are featured annually in The Washingtonian’s 100 Very Best Restaurant list and some have received the prestigious James Beard Award. HCS is known for building projects under budget and on time.
One of HCS’ clients is Tiger Fork, a Bib Gourmand restaurant in Shaw’s historic Blagden Alley, Washington. Known for its contemporary Hong Kong street food, the restaurant’s design is as cheerful as the menu. With exposed brick, large murals, tranquil hanging lanterns, colorful tiles, and communal tables to bring families and customers into conversation, Tiger Fork further catches attention with the unique octagonal bar where herbs are blended into cocktail bliss. Tucked away in secluded Blagden Alley, and well worth the search, this oasis built by HCS is ready for everyone to discover.
3057 West Diversey Ave., Chicago, IL 60647
Construction has always been in John Warken and Kirk Wagenbach’s blood. Warken has been building homes since he finished high school while Wagenbach was born in a family of construction industry experts. Both are seasoned commercial construction professionals, and they founded Integrus Construction to focus on hospitality projects. Since its establishment in 2017, the firm has worked with some of the biggest names in the Chicago restaurant industry. Many of the firm’s projects have been featured in Eater Chicago, Chicago Tribune, and WGN-TV.
Integrus Construction built the first Chicago branch of Toronto crowd favorite, Kinton Ramen. There are already a handful of ramen shops in Chicago, but Kinton Ramen’s four types of pork broth are nothing like its competitors’. The restaurant’s iron-clad logo (inspired by its famous broth) can be found all over the dining area. The restaurant’s owner said that the Chicago branch will experiment with cocktail options which is why the noodle bar also doubles as a cocktail bar.
ITEK Construction + Consulting
627 Carlisle Dr., Herndon, VA 20170
For the past 26 years, ITEK Construction + Consulting has provided construction services paired with quality customer service to commercial and residential clients in Virginia. A bulk of the firm’s projects are retail and casual dining restaurants which is why it is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington.
ITEK has created some of the household fast food chains around Virginia. Some of these chains include Taco Bell, Mcdonalds, Popeye’s, and Panda Express. Found in Tyson’s Corner is a Noodles & Company, a casual restaurant with a spacious dining area. ITEK completed the interior buildout project for only ten weeks. It also has a dining area that can sit large groups of diners. There are cozy booths, four-seater tables, and stools situated near the windows.
41-12 24th St., New York, NY 11101
Headquartered in the Big Apple is KCC Design Build, a full-service design firm known for its stunning residential remodel and modern hospitality buildouts. Founder Eric Kopplin is a fourth-generation builder who was worked on over a billion dollars worth of projects. He has worked on award-winning projects, rebuilt the busiest land port in the world, and constructed the largest K-12 school in the country. But perhaps his most famous work is co-hosting CNBC’s Five Day Biz Fix with his wife, Chrissy. The couple helps small businesses by remodeling their shops in only five days. These businesses are not just simple boutiques; the design couple has worked on bowling alleys, hair salons, and bookstores.
KCC’s team’s expertise allows projects to be completed quickly. Boru Boru in New York, a 2,000-square-foot restaurant with a bar and dining area, took only eight weeks to build. Its walls are made of Wooden Teka Slat paired with hanging origami cranes and a large Japanese mural. A sophisticated custom oxblood banquette was also made for the bar.
8709 Castle Park Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46256
Commercial General Contractor Kort Builders services several sectors in the commercial industry like retail, restaurant, industrial, and financial projects. The firm has been in business for more than 30 years but its Founder Bob Kort still personally oversees all of the development of every project. Many first-time business owners work with Kort to have a better understanding of the building process. The founder makes sure that clients are well aware of every step of the procedure before proceeding to construction.
Healthcare, office, retail, and restaurant build outs are part of the firm’s expansive portfolio. A standout contemporary project of Kort Builders is Ukiyo Restaurant located in College Avenue. The 2,300 square foot Japanese restaurant that serves ramen and sushi. Unlike traditional Japanese restaurants, Ukiyo has a very inviting vibe because of its colorful modern interiors. Kort Builders designed the firm with architectural firm Blackline Studio.
New World Design Builders
261 Madison Ave. #25 Fl., New York, NY 10016
Distinguished restaurant designer Chris Kofitsas has been managing his company, New World Design Builders, for the past two decades. The company is known for providing both the interior design and construction services of its hospitality projects. Kofitsas was once part of Architectural Digest’s “Five Must-Know Restaurant Designers of New York” and he has designed restaurants found in the pages of The New York Times, Vogue and Business Insider.
A look at the firm’s portfolio will display gorgeous bars and restaurants found all over New York, New Jersey, Miami, and California. The Kobe Club in New York highlights the strengths of New World Design Builders through its elegant dining areas and luxurious private lounges. New World Design Builders was inspired by the mysterious allure of the Samurai. A wall designed with two thousand samurai swords can be found in the dramatic dining area, illuminated by huge lavender lanterns.
Potomac Construction Services
9320 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda, MD 20814
Upholding team approach and transparency, Potomac Construction Services is a general contractor that focuses on retail and restaurant interiors. The D.C. firm takes pride in its value for transparency and collaboration. Its team of professionals all have 30 hours’ training from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and corresponding monthly training. Founder and President Tom Dailey oversees all of the firm’s projects, and is very committed to his customers’ visions. His close working relationship with his customers has helped him become a well-known figure in the DC restaurant industry.
The firm has made some of the most popular restaurants around D.C. One of them is Gogi Yogi, the first authentic Korean Barbecue in Washington. Potomac designed a casual restaurant with urban interiors that are reminiscent of food truck alleys. The seats were designed to look like street cans while murals serve as accents to the space.
3903 West Martin Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89118
PWI Construction is a thirty-five-years-strong full-service general contractor servicing Las Vegas, Arizona, Texas, and Florida. Jeff Price started the firm in Arizona and garnered a number of accolades during its first few years. The firm eventually expanded to other states and it continues to win awards in its other locations. Its recent accolades are two Excellence in Construction Awards from the Associated Builders and Contractors.
One of the firm’s most famous clients is Tao Restaurant. Its newest Los Angeles branch is perhaps Tao’s grandest restaurant. Customers are welcomed by an intriguing carved wooden gate. The restaurant’s space is similar to a warehouse; PWI utilized this space by adding a grand wooden staircase that leads to a sophisticated dining area with Buddhist sculptures and elegant Chinese-style furnishing.
255 Jim Moran Blvd., Deerfield Beach, FL 33442
South Florida-based RCC Associates has been in operation for almost fifty years and is licensed in more than 30 states. The firm has consistently delivered on its reputation for executing projects within budget and on schedule. While RCC Associates has worked with many of the big-name clients in retail, such as Harry Winston, Versace and Giuseppe Zanotti, the firm is most widely recognized for its expertise in restaurant and hospitality construction, having built nearly 500 such projects across the U.S.
The firm’s restaurant portfolio features high-end casual and fine dining venues including Time Out Market, Zuma, True Food Kitchen, Shake Shack, Louie Bossi, and La Mar by Gaston Acurio. Located in Miami is Komodo, one of RCC’s grandest restaurant projects. Conceptualized by restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow and nightclub guru David Grutman, Komodo is a 28,000 sf, multi-level fine dining restaurant that serves contemporary Southeast Asian Cuisine complemented by craft cocktails. The expansive indoor/outdoor venue has three bars and a dramatic staircase, but its most unique feature is its signature floating “bird’s nest” seating platforms.
Shawmut Design and Construction
3 E 54th St. #10 Flr. New York, NY 10022
Employee-Owned Shawmut Design and Construction operates in more than 20 states and is best known as a high-end retail designer. The firm provides its design-build and construction management services to all sectors of the commercial industry, but is known for creating some of the best retail stores in New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Miami. Some of the luxury brands Shawmut has worked with are Louis Vuitton, Chopard, Balmain, and Tom Ford.
Besides its gorgeous retail projects, Shawmut has also constructed award-winning restaurants across the nation. The firm has worked on several branches of the world-renowned Nobu restaurant. Its Malibu branch won the International Council of Shopping Centers US Design and Development Award. The restaurant is located in Carbon Beach, a seismic zone, so the project required technical pre-construction measures. It utilized Building Information Modeling, a process that uses 3D modeling to assist a project’s engineering, architecture, and construction. The result is a simple contemporary restaurant that was made to showcase its beachside view.
Terra Nova Industries
1607 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek, CA 94595
Located in Virginia, Terra Nova Industries is a seasoned firm with more than 2,000 projects under its belt. It has been in business for more than 30 years because of its close relations with its clients. Many clients have raved about the firm’s punctuality, especially when it comes to meeting deadlines. President Ron Taylor upholds the value of pairing great project management with professional workmanship.
One of the firm’s stunning completed projects is Ginto Izakaya Japonaise in the Bay Area Financial District. It’s a 6,800 square foot restaurant that seats 200 guests and it has a very innovative concept by offering classic Izakaya dishes with a French touch. A large skeleton of a Japanese bell is found at the center of the restaurant and traditional masks are adorned all over the walls. The dining area includes modern furnishing such as navy booths and contemporary wooden tables.
Trinity Building and Construction Management
1 Jewel Dr. #322, Wilmington, MA 01887
With offices in Massachusetts and New York, Trinity Construction Management has extensive services catered to hospitality, multifamily, and corporate sectors. Thanks to its technical services, the firm ensures that its team is safe all the time. The field operations staff are required to undergo 30 hours of OSHA and first aid training, and its construction operation staff are required to undergo 10 hours of OSHA training.
The firm’s hospitality portfolio boasts of some of Massachusetts’s and New York’s finest, but its most creative works are its Asian restaurants. Hakkasan restaurant is famous for having luxurious interiors that bring a nightclub feel to a sophisticated fine dining restaurant. Trinity Building worked with designer Gilles and Boissier to create Hakkasan’s newest New York branch. Chinese ornaments can be found all over the dining area, and its cocktail lounge gives these accents an edge through bright neon lighting.