After 12 years in business and multiple acclaimed chefs, longtime Japanese hotspot Japonais—now Japonais by Morimoto—will close up shop in mid-October, the Tribune first reported. Ownership hasn't revealed their reasons for the decision, but calls it a "difficult" one and thanks its customers and staff. Here is the full statement:
After much thoughtful consideration, award-winning restaurant Japonais by Morimoto has made the difficult decision to close on October 11th, 2015.
The Japonais team is humbled and thankful to have contributed to a thriving restaurant community in Chicago and has enjoyed the past 12 incredible years of serving local Chicagoans and World Class Travelers. Chef Morimoto and the culinary team would like to thank their loyal guests for the shared memories and look forward to continuing to serve diners in the near future. Our dedicated and loyal staff throughout the 12 yrs have greatly contributed to the success of the restaurant. During the next 30 days until October 10th, we invite all of our loyal clientele and friends to come and celebrate all the fond memories, favorite dishes or for a drink on the Riverwalk.
Japonais has been open in a large, swanky space on Chicago Avenue and the river since 2003. Longtime chef Gene Kato left in early 2011 to open Sumi Robata Bar, and a New York City location closed soon after. The Chicago flagship briefly closed at the end of 2013 to rebrand and remodel under celebrity chef Masaharu Morimoto before reopening the following February.
There's no word yet what will happen to the prominent space on Chicago Avenue. You have a little under a month to visit again and relive some memories of the restaurant.