Home > Food Fight Bids Tavernakaya Farewell

Food Fight bids Tavernakaya farewell

Effective Wednesday, July 26th

TK will continue to accept Food Fight Restaurant Group® gift cards through September of 2017. However, customers will not be able to purchase Food Fight Restaurant Group® gift cards from the TK location going forward.


Today, Food Fight Restaurant Group® along with Mike Ding and Kai Kuo announce that all Food Fight Restaurant Group interests in Tavernakaya are being purchased. Ding and Kuo’s full ownership of the restaurant, located at 27 East Main Street on the Capitol Square, will become effective July 27, 2017.

TK opened in December 2015, and as the first izakaya in Madison, it changed the offerings of food in the city and on the Square. The uniquely creative concept – an American tavern combined with a Japanese izakaya – was developed by Ding and Kuo, with Food Fight providing the operating systems and administration. Since it’s launch, TK has built a loyal following in the community, including many press accolades and one of Madison Magazine’s Best New Restaurant Awards in 2016.

TK is the sister restaurant to Ding’s first culinary venture in Madison, Umami Ramen and Dumpling Bar, which opened in 2011 at 923 Williamson Street. Umami was Madison’s first ramen restaurant and it won Isthmus Madison’s favorite ramen award in 2016.

Mike Ding said, “The process of creating and opening this unique restaurant alongside such an outstanding group of professionals has been a great experience. I can’t thank our partners at Food Fight enough for helping us to get to this point. Kai and I look forward to an exciting future for TK.”

Kai Kuo adds, “We are proud of our partnership with the Food Fight team and everything we have been able to accomplish in our time together since we launched TK nearly two years ago. Madison’s food scene is at the top of its game and it is an honor to be part of this incredible culinary city.”

Kevin Henry, CEO of Food Fight said, “Since opening, Tavernakaya has been a great addition to Food Fight and the independent Madison food scene. Mike and Kai have been great to work with, and we wish them the very best as they move forward. Since day one, they have provided great leadership, and we know they will continue to take it along a successful path.”

Food Fight Restaurant Group®, established in 1990, is local and employee owned and operated, with 19 different concepts, including Monty’s Blue Plate Diner, Eldorado Grill, and Hubbard Avenue Diner.

Please call (608)246-2719 or email info@foodfightinc.com with any questions.