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Toledo restaurateur takes positive message of his adopted city to New York

The ad prominently displayed the hashtag #YouWillDoBetterInToledo. Chef Kengo live streamed the event on his Instagram page.
Credit: Instagram: Kengo Kato
Chef Kengo Kato in New York City

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. — A Toledo restauranteur who has been making waves in Toledo for the past few years is bringing a positive message of his adopted city to the Big Apple.

People passing through New York City's Times Square on Sunday evening saw a five minute ad for Toledo’s-own Chef Kengo Kato’s restaurants on the Nasdaq screen.

The Times Square debut serves as the kickoff to the restauranteurs new ad campaign.

The video, entitled ‘I will Shobu the way” after Kengo’s newest restaurant Shobu by Kengo is a takeoff of the tokusatsu film style, in which Chef Kengo played the lead role, a super hero chef.

The restaurants, the employees, and the city itself featured prominently in the ad which can be seen in full on Kengo’s Instagram page.

A live stream on Sunday evening showed Kengo and his family enjoying the video as tourists and New Yorkers hustled and bustled on the Manhattan street and Kengo and his family posed for selfies in front of the massive video screen.

Kengo says he is excited for the opportunity to have his ad play on such an iconic stage and thanked his New York friend Koh Nakamura for helping to facilitate the event.

Chef Kengo’s restaurants include Kengo Sushi & Yakitori, Shobu by Kengo, and Kato Ramen.

Kengo, who is from New York, came to Toledo 16 years ago to help open a local restaurant and ended up staying in the city.

The hashtag #YouWillDoBetterInToledo was prominently featured throughout the ad.

Kengo is effusive in his praise for his adopted city.

“That slogan has been dear to my heart. Toledo’s been good to me, the people have been good to me, the city’s been so great to me," said Chef Kengo. "We opened our restaurant 8 years ago and we’ve been super fortunate with the support and the love from Toledo.”

The ad was created by Toledo-based filmmaker and writer Nick Corbin.


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