After 27 years, Masafusa and Kazue Yonekawa have closed the doors to their restaurant, Tokyo Japanese Restaurant, on Moon Road Tuesday night.
Back when the restaurant opened, the only Japanese restaurant in town was Madame Butterfly's on St. Mary's Road. It, like Tokyo, was Japanese-owned.
Now, the other Japanese restaurants in town have non-Japanese owners. Does it make a difference? Yes, it does.
That doesn't mean the other Japanese restaurants don't have good food. They do. It's just not Japanese.
Tokyo is like a second home for us. Now it's gone.
It wasn't lack of custormers that the restaurant closed, because the restaurant had a big number of very loyal diners. It wasn't the economy, either.
It was the owners' health. Kazue, known as Mama-san, has pneumonia, and has been hospitalized three weeks out of the last four. Masafusa, or Papa-san, has a bad shoulder.
Their twin girls, Masami and Megumi, are both grown with lives of their own, and I think they didn't really want to continue running the restaurant.
As we were leaving tonight, I saw a group of people come in led by Jennifer Farrell. She thanked me for letting her know. I had posted it online on Facebook before I left work.
I don't know where we'll go every weekend. Well, maybe I'll cook more at home and eat in.
I'll miss the restaurant, though. A lot.