After being in business for almost two years, Sake Japanese Steak House has closed its doors.
According to a letter taped to the doors, the Asian-style restaurant was ordered to terminate business on Sept. 10 for having not paid its rent.
The note, which is addressed to Jinx Lin, who is listed on the restaurant’s Facebook page as part of its “Culinary Team,” reads: “You remain in default for the payment of rent after having been given the requisite notice and opportunity to cure required under the Lease.”
The office manager of Boulevard Shops Corporation, the company that owns the strip mall where the sake restaurant was located, refused to comment on the conditions of the forced closure, but said, “There are a lot of moving pieces to the puzzle.”
Neighboring businesses also refused to comment or said they didn’t know what had happened.
Michelle Williamson, a 12-year resident of Laurel, said Sake House was her favorite restaurant. Williamson and her family dined there at least once a month since the restaurant opened.
“We were probably one of the first customers,” she said. “They had one of the best sushi bars around and we loved that you could skip the portion where they cook in front of you if you just wanted a quick meal.”
The restaurant, located at 14601 Baltimore Ave. in Laurel, closed without a warning to its customers, Williamson said. Her daughter tried to go to the restaurant earlier this month with her boyfriend, only to find locked doors and the closing notice on the door.
“It’s a real let down,” she said. “We went there for celebrations and birthdays and it was such a welcoming environment. We were all blindsided. It’s really, really sad.”
Williamson added that she and her family have struggled trying to find a new favorite restaurant to eat at in the greater Laurel area.
“We will definitely miss the Sake House restaurant.”