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Yokohama restaurant serving Ukrainian wines, food donates part of revenue to embassy

The Grill Etna restaurant's Isezakicho branch manager Ryuji Saito, left, pours Ukrainian wine for a charity event participant, in Yokohama's Naka Ward on April 1, 2022. (Mainichi/Seiho Akimaru)

YOKOHAMA -- A restaurant here is donating part of its sales from Ukrainian wines and food to the war-torn country's embassy in Japan.

    The Grill Etna restaurant's Isezakicho branch in Yokohama's Naka Ward specializes in Ukrainian wines. It held a charity event to donate part of its sales from course meals, including Ukrainian dishes, to the embassy as humanitarian support. Though the event period ended on April 3, the restaurant intends to keep donating part of its revenue from Ukrainian wines and food for the time being.

    It's rare for a restaurant in Japan to serve wines produced in Ukraine. The wines come from five makers, mainly in the southern part of Ukraine, where Odesa -- Yokohama's sister city -- is situated. According to manager Ryuji Saito, 49, who is also the president of the operating company, wineries in southern Ukraine are becoming unable to manage grapes as local staff members have evacuated since Russia began to invade the country. Saito said he discussed with importers and sellers of the wines what they could do to support both the wineries to stay in business and the people of Ukraine, and decided to hold the charity event.

    "Ukrainian wines are of high quality and are priced reasonably when compared to wines from Europe and the United States, but their name recognition is not that high in Japan," Saito said. "If we keep serving the wines, we will be supporting producers. We hope this will help people having a hard life in Ukraine -- even if only slightly."

    For inquiries, contact the restaurant by phone at 045-252-1311 (in Japanese).

    (Japanese original by Seiho Akimaru, Tokyo City News Department)

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