August 12, 2022

Japanese restaurant Domo in Denver overwhelmed by TikTok’s viral response

A viral TikTok video from a Japanese restaurant in Denver has created chaos, challenges and change for the small business.

In 1996, Gaku Homma opened the Domo Japanese Country restaurant. Its restaurant offers a unique dining experience, rich in flavor and culture, which has attracted loyal customers over the past 25 years. Guests have the choice of sitting indoors surrounded by Japanese decor or outdoors in a traditional Japanese garden.

The local business has become a Denver staple over the years and in 2021 Zagat named the restaurant one of the top five Japanese restaurants in the United States. But nothing has prepared the business owner and staff for the power and impact of social media.

A customer recorded a TikTok video – less than a minute and without narration – of the restaurant in July. But that’s all the people needed.

Chief Koichi Ninomiya said an employee released the video and it was seen over half a million in one day. For several days, people lined up in front of the restaurant before the doors opened. The queue was so long it reached an apartment complex more than half a block from the entrance.

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