John Jung (Dongwook) is the Executive sushi chef/owner of Haruno Japanese Sushi Bar & Grill in Springfield, Missouri. He and his wife, Young, opened Haruno in 1999 and were the first to introduce authentic sushi to Missouri’s 3rd largest city which at the time had no sushi bars. They quickly turned Springfield into a city of sushi-lovers. To accommodate burgeoning local demand, John and Young expanded Haruno next door lounge & sushi only three years after the doors opened. In 2007, this creative Korean couple opened their second restaurant, Kai After Dark, which was also received well.
John is a Sushi Master Chef, so opening a sushi bar came naturally to him. He learned to make sushi by reading books, watching television, and through decades of practice. After 17 years of relentless hard work at haruno sushibar, John had developed his unique style combining classic/modern with east and west culture. When he opened Haruno, his goal was to serve the freshest fish possible. He refused to serve his customers packaged, frozen fish, but at the time, there was no local distribution center for seafood. John solved this problem by ordering fresh fish from New York and Los Angeles which was flown into Springfield about three times per week which he picked up at the airport early in the morning. Fresh fish continues to be flown in from the coasts, but it is now delivered straight to Haruno.
John came to the United States from Seoul, Korea, in 1990 to study at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Five years later, he transferred to Missouri State University for the MBA Computer Science program. He was a graduate student, struggling financially, when he had the opportunity to open Haruno, a life-changing event.
The Jungs opened their third restaurant, Koriya, in 2011, and a fourth restaurant will open soon. Karai debuts in late December 2017 or early January 2018 and will serve ramen and other light dishes. John looks forward to the future. He plans to continue tickling Springfield residents’ taste buds by creating new menu items and passing along the knowledge of sushi.