In Wheeling’s historic Centre Market, a unique corner offers both newcomers and longtime patrons a literal taste of Japan. From fish to chicken, udon noodles and bubble tea, Osaka Express offers a full menu of fresh and healthy options with a traditional Japanese flair.
Historically, the city of Osaka in Japan has been known as tenka no daidokoro or “the nation’s kitchen” because of its central role in rice trade and its prime location on Osaka Bay. It was no coincidence, therefore, when proprietor Wing Wang chose to open his restaurant in September 2015 at Centre Market, an important culinary hub in the Ohio Valley.
“Centre Market (is located) in the historical city of Wheeling (with) a large population. It is also a local attraction,” Wang said.
A 20-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Wang chose to name his restaurant after the major Japanese city because he knew it would suit his menu offerings.
“It has a good ring to it when you say it out loud, and Osaka is also a major city in Japan so people can easily relate the name of our restaurant to the kinds of food we serve,” Wang said.
Treat Yourself While Taking Care of Yourself
Surrounded by treasured eateries in the heart of Wheeling, many of which have been around for generations, Wang knew Osaka Express would need to stand out. He therefore holds his business to a high standard of freshness and speed, while keeping both taste and health a priority.
“Our meals are all freshly made and use healthy ingredients,” Wang said. “We also try our best to make food fast while keeping it delicious at all times. It is a very good option to eat at Osaka Express for anyone who wants to treat themselves [to] a deliciously healthy, quick lunch.”
Three Years and Going Strong
Wang expressed deep gratitude to the community of Wheeling and Centre Market, saying that Osaka Express has collected a lot of regular customers and local friends. He also appreciates the market’s management, including Economic Development Specialist Kurt Zende, whom he credits as especially helpful.
“Our business has been growing since day one,” Wang said. “By having a restaurant in Centre Market, we really got a chance to know the local community, and it’s just great to meet people around the area. At the same time, we also learn from our customers to make our business better, and we are happy to be able to serve our food to this community.”
(Photos by Daniel Dorsch)
• Born and raised in the Ohio Valley, Daniel Dorsch brings a rich background of research and writing to Weelunk. He studied at West Virginia University and Duquesne University and has worked as a historian, a journalist and a marketing communications expert. Daniel’s personal philosophy is that every person and every place has a story to tell, and he makes it his mission as a wordsmith to help tell them. Daniel lives in Weirton with his wife and son.