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Inside Megu at Dream Downtown

The chic NYC restaurant that’s making a tasty comeback

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John Bakhshi has always been a big fan of Japanese cuisine. So much so that the American restaurateur, who is based in New York City, was having it at least four times a week at city haunts like Nobu and Kura. Bakhshi is known for founding successful joints like Home, Guest House and Greenhouse, and when he learned of the opportunity to purchase the rights to Megu, which held two original locations in New York before closing in 2014, he took it.

Image credit: Gabi Porter

With locations in New Delhi, Moscow, Doha and Gstaadnew, Megu at Dream Downtown in New York is Bakhshi’s latest venture and this particular venue is one sight for sore eyes. “I was looking for something new and sophisticated, from the lighting and design to the furniture,” Bakhshi explained of his vision. The New York location exists in the basement of The Dream Hotel, but once patrons descend down into the lower level they’ll quickly forget that they’re in a so-called “basement.” LED lights serve as the perfect accent to plush kimono fabrics, both of which you’ll immediately sink into while enjoying craft cocktails and delectable menu items by Top Chef alum and Filipina Francis Tariga-Weshnak. Aside from excellent atmosphere the food is, after all, Megu’s main attraction.

Bakhshi, having had the chance to enjoy the opening’s success, is already looking to the brand’s future with potential openings in Dubai and Los Angeles. “I’m hoping to sign my first lease within the next one or two months,” Bakhshi shared, “with the hopes of opening another two or three within the next year.”