Embattled Benihana bigwig buys in Brooklyn’s Pierhouse

Dinner at Benihana restaurant (credit Larry D. Moore via Wiki Commons)

Ono Aoki, the widow of Benihana founder Rocky Aoki, will soon be juggling her steak knives in Brooklyn. The owner of 18 Benihana franchises just picked up a one-bedroom unit in Brooklyn Height’s swank Pierhouse for $2.8 million, according to public records.

Aoki — who has been involved in a bitter fight with her stepchildren over the future of the restaurant chain — seems to know value when she sees it. The unit had been asking over $3 million.

Beyond knowing that the 1,470-square-foot unit has one-and-a-half baths, we can’t see too much else about the apartment itself. However, the building boasts quite a thorough list of amenities, including two 24-hour attended lobbies, valet parking, two fitness centers, a meditation studio, a resident event space, pet-wash, refrigerated storage, play room, and bike storage. We spy an outdoor grill, but there’s nary a hibachi in sight.

Benihanas founder Rocky Aoki was known for his outrageous and glamorous 1980s lifestyle. He founded a porn magazine, produced Broadway plays and fathered seven children with three women, according to Fortune. He also inspired one of the most memorable lines from “The Wolf of Wall Street:

“Even more fucked, is that he got busted for shit that had nothing to do with me. It had nothing to fucking do with me! Some stuff about running drugs with Rocky Aoki, you know, the founder of Benihana? Benihana… Beni-fucking-hana? BENI-FUCKING-HANA? WHY? WHY, GOD? Why would You be so cruel as to use the king of Japanese restaurants to take me down?” Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays Jordan Belfort in the film, says.

Two of Rocky’s children are still battling with Ono for the trust that controls Benihana of Tokyo in court. One of the children involved in the lawsuit is famed party DJ Steve Aoki.

Unfortunately, the other children have less of a say. Four of their siblings and half-siblings were disinherited and one was never even mentioned in the will, according to Fortune. 


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