Viva Japanese Steakhouse To Open in Westfield Montgomery Mall

200-seat restaurant aims for August opening in former MET Bethesda space

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Viva Japanese Steakhouse will take over the former MET Bethesda space this summer.

Andrew Metcalf/File photo

The long-vacant restaurant space next to ArcLight Cinema in Westfield Montgomery mall has a new tenant: a Japanese hibachi steakhouse that’s set to open this summer.

Viva Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar and Asian Fusion aims to open Aug. 1 in the upper-level space formerly occupied by MET Bethesda at the Bethesda mall, co-owner Calvin Yang said Tuesday.

The hibachi-style grill will serve food cooked in front of diners at large tables, and will also have a full sushi bar and offer fusion French-inspired dishes with steak or lamb, cooked in an Asian style, Yang said. He plans to offer all-you-can-eat sushi for $25.

The restaurant’s opening was first reported by local blog Store Reporter.

Yang, who’s opening the restaurant with two of his cousins, said his family has operated Chinese restaurants in New York and the Midwest. They decided to venture into Japanese cuisine as a way to try something different. If the Bethesda mall location is successful, they might look to expanding.

“We want to let everyone know who we are and what we’re doing,” he said. “Then we could open more.”

The restaurant, at about 6,000 square feet, will seat about 200 people. It will also have a bar serving beer, wine and liquor.

In September 2016, MET Bethesda closed after almost two years in the mall. The local outpost of a Boston chain reportedly could not bring in enough diners during the week when ArcLight wasn’t as busy.

“It’s been a while since we had that space filled, so we’re really excited,” Karla Saravia, a spokeswoman for Westfield Montgomery, said Tuesday.

Yang said the Bethesda mall was appealing as a busy location. He said the quality of the restaurant’s food as well as the prominent location should attract diners.

“Everybody can see us here because we’re on top of everybody,” he said. “We’re so excited.”

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