After 34 years serving Japanese food in Lincoln Park, Juco and Keiko Hattori closed Itto Sushi in June. It was one of the oldest sushi restaurants in Chicago. The couple has since moved to Boise, Idaho to be near their daughter. Juco Hattori said he doesn’t miss running a restaurant, though he does miss a few of his loyal customers.
“We had many,” Hattori said.
Boise is one of the rare places colder than Chicago, but other than that, Hattori has settled into retirement. He still doesn’t have all his belongings from Chicago, though they’ve sold the Itto building. Condos will replace the restaurant.
Hattori noted how much more popular sushi is now than when Itto opened more than three decades ago. That popularity has shown in the diversity of ownership, as more and more non-native Japanese are serving sushi. That includes Thai, Korean and Chinese owners who also serve sushi alongside their native cuisines.
But if you’re looking for Hattori’s recommendation for a sushi restaurant, look elsewhere. Hattori remains confident that there’s no substitute for Itto. “Everyone asks me that,” he said. “I’ve been to other restaurants, but there’s just a difference between them and my restaurant.”
Itto is among the biggest shutters of the year. Check out the rest of Eater Chicago’s picks for biggest 2016 restaurant closures below.
- 4 Star Group Buys Justin's, Ending Bar's 31-Year Run on Southport
- Iliana Regan's Critical Darling Bunny The Micro Bakery Is Closed For Good
- West Loop's Tete Charcuterie Closes Along Randolph Restaurant Row
- Packed, Mike Sheerin's Hyde Park Dumpling Shop, Shutters Four Months In
- Itto Sushi Closes After 34 Years in Lincoln Park
- Embeya, A Former Best New Restaurant, Shuttered Suddenly Over The Weekend
- West Loop’s 25-Year-Old Vivo Closing After Selling To Bucktown's AMK
- Acclaimed Analogue Shutters In Logan Square Two Months After Key Staff Leaves
- Barbecue Bummer: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Closing Chicago Location
- Cantina 1910, Andersonville's Ambitious Mexican Restaurant and Yelp Target, Shutters
- The Parthenon, Chicago’s Greektown Landmark & Flaming Cheese Creator, Has Closed
- Popular Lincoln Park Date Spot Rose Angelis Will Close After 25 Years
- Carol’s Pub, The Infamous North Side Country Bar, Closed Indefinitely
- Citizen Bar, The Popular River North Rooftop Spot, Will Close Sunday
- Salpicón, Old Town’s Modern Mexican Trailblazer, Is Closing After 22 Years
- After Nearly A Century, Naples Bakery Is Closing On The South Side
- The Drake’s Famed Cape Cod Room Will Close After 8 Decades
- Feast Is Closing After a 20-Year Run in Bucktown & Wicker Park
- Boka Group to Close Perennial Until Spring as Paul Virant Exits
- Bill Kim’s Belly Shack Closing Under Western Blue Line Stop
- Rosario’s Italian Foods Closes After 61 Years
- Bull & Bear is Closing, Ending DineAmic’s River North Sports Bar’s 10-Year Run