This year has been a tumulutous one for restaurants in Upper Kirby with high-profile closings that include Haven, Trenza and the "funeral bars" Roak, Hendricks Pub and OTC. Just when it seemed like the neighborhood might have seen the last closing, another domino has fallen.
According to a restaurant industry insider, Cafe Japon has resurfaced in EaDo as "Japon Sushi."
Long-time sushi restaurant Cafe Japon has closed. During a time Sunday when the restaurant should have been open, the doors were covered and the space had been emptied of furniture.
Although it is unclear exactly when it closed, a Facebook review from Nov. 30 indicates it was already gone then. The restaurant's building had been available for lease by a new tenant since at least June, which means its departure shouldn't come as much of a surprise.
While the location in Upper Kirby may be gone, the restaurant's fan should take hope. According to a restaurant industry insider, Cafe Japon has resurfaced in EaDo as "Japon Sushi." The restaurant's sign features the same distinctive chopsticks logo as the Kirby original. However, an employee was unable to confirm the connection, and a manager was unavailable to comment.
Regardless of whether Japon Cafe is the official successor to Cafe Japon, it's opening marks another development in the suddenly hot neighborhood that's also seen the recent addition of Tout Suite. This year marks the beginning of the neighborhood's arrival as a legitimate dining destination — instead of one that's strictly for bars.
In the meantime, let the speculation begin about which restaurateur is paying the reported $14,000 per month rent for the desirable Kirby location. Despite all the turnover, the area still attracts restaurants like Picos, Paul's Kitchen and the upcoming Salt Air Seafood Kitchen from Clark/Cooper Concepts.