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New Yardley sushi restaurant latest piece in businessman’s vision

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Sushi has been such a hit in Yardley that borough businessman Jim Cain is taking it to another level.
Cain, general contractor Jeff Burdette and designer Jennifer Lombardi have been busy the last several months renovating a space in the Yardley Town Center at 25 S. Main St. into the new location for the Kawaii Tori (beautiful bird in Japanese) sushi restaurant, which now operates only at night from a spot at 7 S. Main.
That space is now the Pretty Bird Coffee Shop during the day and Kawaii Tori at night, explained Cain, the managing partner of those two businesses and three more in the borough.
The new 2,200-square-foot Kawaii Tori, to be located in the spot formerly occupied by the Fine Wine & Good Spirits state liquor store at Yardley Town Center, will be a huge expansion of what’s happening at the restaurant’s current location.
“It’s the largest design investment we’ve made to date,” said Cain of the approximately $400,000 being pumped into the renovation.
The new restaurant will feature a special $40,000 “ocean wave” black walnut ceiling, all stainless steel kitchen, 15-person sushi bar, private event space and an expanded menu including dumplings, teriyaki entrees, galbi-Korean marinated short ribs and multiple donburi (rice bowl) options.
There will be wine and beer, including specialty beers from Cain’s Yardley brewery. Total capacity will be 73, said Cain, who added that he’s hoping to open the new Kawaii Tori around mid-November.
He obtained a variance from the borough’s zoning hearing board to allow a full-fledged restaurant with a kitchen at a spot formerly zoned only for retail.
“Kawaii Tori’s success over the past three years at 7 S. Main is due in large part to the community embracing our vision for the future of Yardley,” Cain said.
“Without the community getting behind our efforts, we would not have been able to contemplate such a large undertaking.”
Cain said Burdette and Lombardi, who he has worked with on other ventures, and sushi master Danny Nguyen will help make the new restaurant a first-class establishment.

Fellow tenants at the Yardley Town Center are excited.
“We’re thrilled to welcome the new sushi restaurant coming to our shopping center,” said Todd Stecker, owner of SoBol Yardley that sells fruit smoothies, homemade granola, asai bowls and other items.
“A high-quality, well-designed and well-run restaurant is joining the ever-growing food scene in Yardley. It’s going to help the popularity of our shopping center and Yardley as a whole. Can’t wait.”
In addition to Kawaii Tori and Pretty Bird, Cain is the main owner of Vault Brewing on South Main Street, and the Vault Taproom and Vault Production facility (brewery), both on West College Avenue. He said he’s planning a vegetarian eatery to split time with Pretty Bird at 7 S. Main, taking over the role now held by Kawaii Tori.
Vault Brewing, Pretty Bird Coffee and the Vault Production facility were originally started by some of Cain’s sons, who are still involved to some extent but have mostly moved on to other ventures.
Cain’s successful effort in obtaining a use variance for the Vault Taproom that allowed it to add a kitchen and become a full-fledged restaurant sparked controversy among many nearby residents, who said it was not a suitable location for a restaurant and would set a bad precedent, among other problems.
Many of the residents, while criticizing the variance, also praised Cain for his contributions to the Yardley business community.
He said he fell in love with Yardley after moving into the area in 2018 so he could help his sons with the businesses.
“We only invest in the borough,” Cain said. “We’ve been asked to open businesses in New Hope, Princeton and Newtown and our answer is always the same, we are a Yardley Borough company and always will be.
“My vision is to make Yardley a destination, on par with New Hope, Doylestown and Newtown. I want Yardley in the conversation when a couple is discussing where to eat on a Friday night.”
For information and to follow the progress of the Kawaii Tori renovation, visit the restaurant on social media.


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