Fuji-Ya, Minnesota's first-ever Japanese restaurant, shuts down at Lyn-Lake

Sarah Brumble

Sarah Brumble

The future is uncertain for Fuji-Ya, Minnesota's first-ever Japanese restaurant. 

This much we know: The sushi institution has left its Minneapolis home at 600 W. Lake St. The building is currently bank-owned and for sale, says Adam Barrett, the listing agent with real estate firm Carlson Partners. 

“Due to bank privacy regulations and rules, I can’t really give you information on Fuji-Ya, specifically," he tells us.

On May 7, after weeks of offering take-out during the COVID-19 shutdown, Fuji-Ya announced a temporary closure via its Facebook page. Now, its website simply reads: "Thank you for your support. Unfortunately we are closing our doors."

Fuji-Ya sustained damage following last month's rioting after the police killing of Geoege Floyd. Some of the vandalism included a Nazi swastika, according to this unconfirmed social media post:

Will Fuji-Ya reemerge elsewhere? Unclear! Its owners did not respond to calls and messages.

In 1959, original owner Reiko Weston opened Fuji-Ya at 814 LaSalle Av. S. in downtown Minneapolis, where it operated until shifting over to its longtime riverside home at 420 S. 1st St. in 1968. Two years after Weston's 1988 death, the restaurant shut down until 1997, when new owners Carol Hanson, who's Weston's daughter, and her husband Tom reopened at 2640 Lyndale Av. S. The Hansons moved things to Lyn-Lake in 2001 and, four years later, opened a St. Paul outpost, which lasted a decade. Current owner Synergy Property acquired the business plus the building for $1.5 million in 2014, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal reports

Fuji-Ya won our Best Japanese Restaurant prize in 2010. We loved its happy hour.