Kimball Brienza isn’t new to the O-Ku concept and Indigo Road Restaurant Group. After serving as general manager of sister restaurant, O-Ku Charleston, for five years, Brienza was promoted to managing partner of the growing sushi concept. He will now split his time between the three locations: Atlanta, Charleston and Charlotte.
Throughout Brienza’s time with O-Ku Charleston, the thriving restaurant has been recognized as one of Esquire magazine’s 20 Best New Restaurants of 2010, chosen as one of the Top 50 Hot Spot Restaurants in the nation by OpenTable in 2011, featured as one of Travel + Leisure’s Top Sushi Restaurants in 2012 and named one of America’s best Japanese restaurants by New York Post in 2016.
Before joining the O-Ku team, Brienza worked with Indigo Road Restaurant Group’s Oak Steakhouse in Charleston, S.C. for two years. Prior to joining the Indigo Road family, Brienza served as dining room manager at the Boathouse after working his way up to management at Carolina’s, where he first met and worked with chef Jeremiah Bacon, now of Indigo Road’s Oak Steakhouse and The Macintosh.
Born in Seoul, Korea and raised in Cooperstown, N.Y., Brienza’s eclectic mix of cultures led him to attend culinary school in New York at the O.A.O.C.