Sushi Nara, a popular Japanese restaurant in Oxford, has closed after its building was sold. The restaurant’s owner informed his employees of the closure Monday, April 6.
Miami University senior Brandon DeLano worked at Sushi Nara as a manager until its temporary closure beginning March 21 due to the novel coronavirus. He said the owner, Jinho Jung, who declined to be interviewed for this story, originally decided to shut the restaurant down temporarily after students left Oxford.
“The plan was to open it again, possibly next semester or next year,” DeLano said. “But the building was on the market, and I guess it sold recently.”
DeLano, who has been an employee since September 2018, explained that the building was on the market before the stay-at-home order was put in place.
However, DeLano doesn’t believe Sushi Nara is closing for good.
“The owner wants to open up at a new location,” DeLano said. “But that wouldn't be for a while. Maybe at least a year.”
Miami senior Mary Grace McCaskey began working at Sushi Nara in March 2017 after transferring to Miami. She said she spoke to Jung the day the closure was announced.
“My boss was telling me that he was looking at several different locations to reopen,” McCaskey said. “He was just having a hard time talking to the agents finding available spaces that would work to continue the restaurant.”
As of Tuesday, April 7, Sushi Nara has not posted anything about its closure to its Facebook or Instagram accounts, but a Google search of the restaurant yields the words, “closed permanently,” in red text.
McCaskey was at the restaurant on April 6 and saw Jung moving everything out of the building.
“He was moving all our liquor and wines to another location,” McCaskey said. “He didn't really give us details about it. He just found out that the building had sold, and they're just cleaning up everything.”
McCaskey, who planned to return to work after the stay-at-home order was lifted, said she was disappointed to find out about the restaurant’s closure.
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“Nara was such a good place for me to go when I first transferred,” McCaskey said. “That was like my second home.”