by Laura Neilson
Just in time for grilling season, Japan Premium Beef recently opened its first retail shop in New York's Noho district to much acclaim. Now discerning carnivores can take meaty matters into their own hands by purchasing various cuts of the importer's Wagyu-style beef, formerly available to restaurants only.
The superlative-quality beef, best known for its vividly marbled appearance, high percentage of unsaturated fat and refined flavor, comes from Oregon-raised Wagyu (or Washugyu) cattle.
Originally, Japan Premium intended to export the beef to Japan, but recent international shipping restrictions foiled the plan, resulting in the upscale butcher shop.
While the beef is certainly the main attraction, the presentation and aesthetic of the storefront itself shouldn't go unnoticed—even vegetarians can appreciate its spare, minimalist decor, befitting a scene from sci-fi flick or contemporary art installation.
"We believe that Washugyu is art," explains manager Taiki Otsuka, of the store's all-white setting which deliberately lets the product speak for itself. Given this conceit, it seems almost fitting that Japan Premium Beef's home is a storied building once owned by Andy Warhol.
Japan Premium Beef
57 Great Jones Street
New York, NY 10012 map
tel. +1 212 260 2333