Sat, June 22, 2024

Behind the Red Door lies a new Asian restaurant

Less than a month ago, Red Door Sake Bar & Kitchen opened with the tagline, “Little Restaurant, Big Asian flavor.” The partners behind the business are familiar restaurateurs in the CSRA, including Alexandrea Kneece, Dumpster Depot founder, Norman Dunagan, and Chef Chad Jajczyk.

Their other establishments include Whiskey Alley and The Tap Room in Aiken, and the Draft Society in Augusta. The partners talked about growing together, thus, the new Asian restaurant opened on January 12.

“Our Executive Chef, Chad is the reason we settled on the Asian flavored food. We felt it happened because it was the right time,” explained Kneece.

Chef Chad Jajczyk skillfully uses chopsticks in our noodle boiler, ensuring each strand is cooked to perfection.

According to the Food Institute, Asian food is winning over America. It’s happening, at least in Aiken, where hungry customers are finding the Red Door’s brand of cuisine. One of their most popular dishes is Tonkotsu. It is made of noodles, pork broth, scallions, roasted cha shu pork, menma (seasoned bamboo shoots), and nori, a good source of various nutrients and considered a healthy food.

If you aren’t familiar with some of the ingredients for their dishes, it might not matter. The reception to the Red Door’s Asian flavor has been great. For a restaurant, taste is what brings in customers.

“Our ramen dishes and some of the other popular cuisine, including kimchi and soups, could just highlight your taste buds.”

Chef Chad’s wife, Katie, has taken over the chef role at Whiskey Alley and Kneece says, “That has been a good fit and allows for Jacjczyk to assume the position of an Executive Chef and in more of a teaching capacity.”

Something else that may strike a chord of familiarity is The Red Door address, 126 Laurens Street. It’s been home to a speakeasy, an Italian restaurant, and most recently, Irish pub Jameson McDubby’s which closed after just one year.

“We get comments that the space is cursed but our team feels we are moving in the right direction. We are excited.”

The Red Door Sake Bar & Kitchen is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm. You can order from their website or follow them on Facebook.

Editor’s Note:
Mitzi Oxford is a veteran broadcaster and features writer who also worked at the same television station in Columbus, Georgia as Augusta’s Brad Means! If you have a South Carolina story idea for Mitzi, please email her at

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