Kappo (Facebook | Website), the seven-seat Japanese restaurant in East End Market is being reportedly being mandated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to “westernize” their shop with the addition of a sneeze guard.
The current restaurant features a Kappo-style dining layout where the chefs cook and serve their guests over the counter, with a completely open kitchen meant to stimulate conversation and immerse diners in a different culture. The chefs at the East End restaurant are known for breaking into song and serenading their customers during dinner. However, according to an online petition, the DBPR (Website) sees the lack of separation between diner and chef as a health hazard via exposure to environmental contaminants.
According to the Save Kappo petition, available HERE, the DBPR is citing a “salad bar/buffet clause” and is demanding that the restaurant install a plexiglass shield at the dining counter to separate the chefs from the guests.
If the sneeze guard is not installed, the DBPR has reportedly threatened to file suit, which according to Save Kappo, could shut down the restaurant.