Photo via Save Kappo
Photo via Save Kappo
Photo via Save Kappo – original photo by Robert Bartlett for Orlando Weekly

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.

Brendan O'Connor

Editor in Chief of

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  1. Environmental contaminants? You can’t get any sicker if the sushi is bad. Killing innovation one idea at a time, thanks dbpr.

  2. Signed. It’s really silly, I hope they don’t “sterilize” Kappo’s unique dining experience.

  3. Sneeze guards for a high traffic buffet line or like a sandwich shop display is one thing. Kappo is a 7 seater intimate dining experience. Plus everything they use is only taken out as needed and then covered/stored when they are done. Adding a piece of plexiglass would kill the vibe of that place.

  4. Agreed. My point is their argument seems to come from a place where they feel they are ‘special’ and deserve an exemption.

  5. Change the rule = spread of disease. It’s there for a reason. Once upon a time people covered their mouths…haha.

  6. I understand their complaint, but if they want the rule changed then change the rule. You don’t get to just be an exception because you want to be.

  7. So then I guess we shouldn’t put sneeze guards up at sandwich shops, sushi restaurants or buffets?

  8. How is this different than a Kobe steakhouse? I don’t recall plexiglass on the Kobe tables where you sit while the chef cooks.