Jay's Kitchen will soon be open for business.
After over a year of construction, the "steak, sushi and social" restaurant at 330 N. Spence Ave. is expected to open in early July, owner Jay Shin said Friday.
Built in the former Texas Steakhouse building, the restaurant will bring an entirely new dining experience to Goldsboro, Shin said.
"I asked myself, and all my friends, what does Goldsboro need?" he said. "What are they looking for? And here, there is no social place here, besides clubs and things, with no family part."
Jay's Kitchen will provide the kind of social gathering spot that Goldsboro lacks, Shin said, while also providing a fine-dining opportunity and business meeting space at the same time.
The restaurant is split into three district areas -- the bar, the sushi bar and the main dining room, which features wall-to-wall glass windows which can open up to provide a patio-like atmosphere. Everything is designed to make sure that groups of all different kinds can coexist in the restaurant at once without interfering with the others.
"I want people to enjoy it every time, and not have to spend big money," Shin said. "That's why the bar is near the front. People come through and say 'just give me one beer' and then Goldsboro people know everybody, so they're talking over there."
The bar, to the left of the entrance, is lined with several tables for people to stand around and drink while socializing with one other.
The sushi bar is set in the interior of the restaurant, in a more closed-off, intimate setting which Shin said is perfect for business meetings and other more private occasions. Jay's Kitchen also features a private room at the rear of the restaurant for similar gatherings.
The restaurant features design elements from all over world.
Shin traveled to Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea and Europe to gather both aesthetic ideas and recipes for Jay's Kitchen, a process which has taken the better part of four years, he said.
The walls are lined with Chinese bricks, Japanese samurai armor sits in a case in the dining room, and the roof is adorned with imported Korean fixtures.
Everything -- from the European chairs to the South African sushi bar -- is imported, a deliberate choice Shin made to mirror the eclectic menu he plans to offer.
"Everyone is living here, with Seymour Johnson base, people are from everywhere," he said. "So, I want some more variety here in, something not only steak, barbecue chicken and pork. I want to make it Japanese style, Chinese style, Korean style, and then the steak, Spanish tapas, tacos, pizza and wings."
Jay's Kitchen sits right across the street from another of Shin's properties, Sumo Japanese Steak and Sushi. The staff from that restaurant will move over to Jay's Kitchen once it opens, and the new establishment will employ between 50 and 60 people, Shin said.