Fuji Ya, a popular Japanese restaurant in Lyn-Lake known for its sushi happy hour, is shutting its doors for good.
The restaurant was open for take-out when the pandemic began, limiting its takeout menu to Thursday-Saturday evenings. On May 7, Fuji Ya closed on what they stated was a “temporary basis,” according to a Facebook post. The website now states that the business is permanently closed: “Thank you for your support! Unfortunately we are closing our doors.”
Fuji Ya representatives were not available for comment.
The restaurant’s building at 600 W Lake St. is now owned by Bell Bank, and currently up for sale, according to Adam Barrett, a director at Carlson Partners commercial real estate firm.
Barrett said that the building had been on the market since around June 8. Initially it was going to be purchased in coordination with the controversial Lyn-Lake parking lot development at the corner of Lake St. and Lyndale Ave. behind the Jungle Theater. The development is now on indefinite hold, and the building may be sold to an individual instead of a developer.
Fuji Ya, which means “second to none” according to the restaurant’s website, was founded in 1959 by Reiko Weston in downtown Minneapolis. At the time, Japanese cuisine was virtually nonexistent in the Twin Cities.
Known as the Twin Cities’ premier Japanese restaurant, Fuji Ya opened at its scenic Mississippi riverfront location in 1968, staying there through a closure in 1990, two years after Weston died. In 1997, Weston’s daughter and her husband reopened the restaurant at 2640 Lyndale Av. S . It relocated again in 2000, this time to the current Lyn-Lake location.
Fuji Ya fans on social media responded with heartfelt comments.
“This is the first place we plan to have a meal when we visit and hope to travel there soon. Hang in there,” patron Carol Kurian posted to the restaurant’s Facebook page on May 7, following the temporary closure announcement. On the most recent post from Fuji Ya’s Instagram account, which is filled with photos of their signature sushi, @mayorojerktown bid farewell with a succinct, sentimental note: “Goodbye, old Friend.”