Banks – The owner of Ninja Bowl Teriyaki, which has one location in Forest Grove, says she will open a second location in Banks later this summer at 13310 NW Main Street.
Most recently, the building that now houses Ninja Bowl Teriyaki was home to Our Cafe.
Soojin Park said she and her husband, Daniel Chey, are on schedule to open Ninja Bowl Teriyaki in Banks within the month, and that they plan to hire “five or six people” to work at their new location.
Park and Chey opened the Forest Grove location earlier this year and she said it has been “really busy every day since.”
“The first restaurant (Kokiyo Teriyaki) was started (almost) 20 years ago by my mom and dad,” Park said. “They owned it for 15 years before they retired and me and my husband took it over. We’ve owned it for about three years but I’ve been working there since they started it in 2000; when I was about 21 or something I helped them set up the business.”
The original restaurant owned by her parents, Kokiyo Teriyaki, operated in Portland’s St. Johns neighborhood on Lombard Avenue before closing in 2017. Park and Chey reopened in Forest Grove under the rebranded Ninja Bowl Teriyaki on January 2. (Another unrelated local chain named Kokiyo Teriyaki has three locations — Hillsboro, Portland, and Beaverton.)
Park said she and Chey always look to challenge themselves as business owners, and opening in the smaller town of Banks presents a good one.
“Banks is not that familiar to me but there are great stories there in the community,” Park said.
She said she and Chey “sort of” stumbled upon Banks while looking for a new storage property on real estate website RedFin. The website told her the property was located in North Plains but it turned out to be in Banks.
“Banks is a really great small town and it has a busy high school there,” she said. “It is a wonderful community. We liked the property and we like the challenge of trying to succeed in a small town. It creates a challenge for us to get better.”
Park said what makes Ninja Teriyaki Bowl stand out from its competitors — and there are plenty of them with at least dozens and dozens if not more than 100 teriyaki restaurants in the Portland region (in some strip malls and shopping centers hungry teriyaki fans can find two restaurants from which to choose) — is that they cook meals to order with fresh chicken, never frozen, as well as fresh vegetables that she shops for every morning.
“We work with local companies and distributors that provide several options and we always stay local,” Park said. “It’s really delicious, if I can say so myself. Our recipes are the original ones that my parents created and we make our sauces daily at one location and deliver them to the other.”