Takane Ezoe opened Smachnogo in Nishishinbashi as a place where Ukrainian refugees in Tokyo could work, gather and share with fellow residents their stories and delicious cuisine.

“Smachnogo isn’t a restaurant that seeks profit, but a place that supports the displaced people of Ukraine,” says Ezoe. “For me, they are as important as family. Thankfully, our customers have been very friendly and supportive. Thanks to them, the time spent working here has been a small but meaningful escape from the anxiety of war for our Ukrainian friends.”