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The next big thing: Yakitori in New York City

Bust out the sake. Booze-friendly yakitori—Japan’s equivalent to barbecue—makes its way to center stage this fall.

Photograph: Filip Wolak

Grilled chicken wings and hearts at BarChuko

Photograph: Filip Wolak

Chicken meatball at BarChuko

Photograph: Filip Wolak

Chicken wings at BarChuko

Photograph: Filip Wolak

Short rib at BarChuko

Photograph: Filip Wolak

Pork gyoza at BarChuko

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It was a curious thing when Masa Takayama—revered chef of the city’s spendiest sushi restaurant—announced that his next project, Tetsu, would highlight Japan’s barbecue equivalent: the laid-back, booze-friendly yakitori. Originally scheduled for fall, the project was pushed to 2014, but the sushi maestro isn’t the only notable chef with his eye on the skewered-and-grilled category. So we’re calling it now: Yakitori is the next ramen, cronut or whatever foodstuff is sending the Instagram-obsessed into a tizzy when this is published—it’s about to blow up. Kick-starting things are David Koon, Jamison Blankenship and James Sato—Morimoto protégés—who will open the 60-seat BarChuko down the block from their ramen-ya, Chuko. The duo will man coal-fired grills, slinging chicken-, beef- and octopus-on-a-stick alongside raw plates like beef tartare and oysters. It’s likely that this yakitori-ya will be as jam-packed as their debut venture. Better get in line now. 565 Vanderbilt Ave at Pacific St, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (no phone yet). Early October.