The owner of Sushi Rock restaurant in the Short North says the doors will close for the final time this Saturday night, leaving 40 employees looking for work.
"When it first opened, it was the gem of the city," said Sushi Rock owner George Psaras. "This beautiful area, everyone comes to the Cap and it was the destination. But this past year, it's been a little rough, and for a location like this, with such high rent, I need to have a packed restaurant."
Psaras said he spent the last two months trying to renegotiate the lease with landowner Continental Real Estate, but he says they were uninterested.
A representative from Continental told 10TV late Friday that it would not comment about the property.
Sushi Rock anchors the cap in the Short North, making it one of the area’s most visible locations.
"At this point, we basically said, ‘Enough is enough,’" said Psaras. "We tried to get the rent down or something to change the equation, so we could feel comfortable staying. If the Cap isn’t the hot spot anymore, it’s excruciating"
Psaras says several factors led to a decline in revenue the last few years -- parking, which is notoriously difficult in the Short North, along with an increase in the cost of providing valet service.
He also says foot traffic also dwindles as you approach Goodale and High streets, making lunch service impossible.
"We never like to hear that a business is leaving," said Betsy Pandora with the Short North Alliance. "The design of the location commemorates the old Union Station, and so it has a wonderful look and feel."
Pandora says she hopes Continental will find a new tenant soon and not leave the anchor facility empty for too long.
"We have full faith that it will be vibrant and contribute well to the district," said Pandora.
Psaras says Sushi Rock could reopen in Columbus at a later date.
"Hopefully, we open up something," said Psaras. "We're not certain which way to go; we're waiting for the opportunity. We had a great run. We've had some amazing years. It's been a joy."
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