By Elena Kadvany
Japanese-style cocktail bar opening in Los AltosUploaded: Jul 23, 2019
Jean-Luc Kayigire wants people to imbibe more in downtown Los Altos.
The Los Altos resident and former bar and restaurant owner said that because of the city's lack of bars, people’s options are to have drinks at local restaurants or go to neighboring cities.
This Saturday, July 27, Kayigire is officially opening his solution to that: Amandine Project, a Japanese-style cocktail bar at 235 1st St.
The revamped bar at Amandine Project in downtown Los Altos. Photo by Magali Gauthier.
Kayigire, who has opened bars and restaurants in San Francisco and Japan, said he wasn’t planning on opening a new bar any time soon. He retired several years ago to focus on his young children and investing in rather than running restaurants.
Then his now landlord, who Kayigire said is "ready to change" downtown Los Altos, made him a good offer on the space where Honcho Bar closed in in February.
Amandine Project has been open periodically over the last two months for soft openings. The bar serves "high-end" cocktails inspired by Japanese drinking establishments, Kayigire said. He plans to rotate the menu regularly around a global theme, with each month featuring cocktails from a different continent. Amandine Project also serves beer and wine.
Once the kitchen is rebuilt, he plans to serve izakaya-like food. The bar's Instagram shows some teasers: an okonomiyaki-style corn dog, pork belly with polenta and Aomori fried potatoes with smoked ketchup.
Amandine Project (named after Kayigire's dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix) will be open this Saturday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. The bar's initial hours will be Tuesday through Sunday evenings, with a plan to eventually stay open daily and until 2 a.m.