After 29 years, Katsu, the fabled Rogers Park sushi restaurant that’s drawn the acclaim and admiration of Chicago’s chefs and Japanese celebrities, will close. Chef Katsu Imamura is 74 and is ready to retire. Katsu has long been one of Chicago’s premiere sushi spots and imports fish from Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji market. The closing is tentatively planned for Sunday, Nov. 26 at 2651 W. Peterson Ave.
Imamura is an immigrant and arrived in Chicago in 1979. He and his wife, Haruko, run the restaurant. Imamura honed his skills through almost three decades with authentic and innovative food. His fans include The Alinea Group’s Nick Kokonas who endorsed Katsu earlier this year in a Reddit AMA. Chef Grant Achatz called Katsu his favorite restaurant in Chicago. While Arlington Heights and the Northwest Suburbs are the epicenter for the area’s Japanese population, back in 1988 when Katsu opened, the Rogers Park location presented a spot in Chicago proper that was near O’Hare International Airport and convenient for Japanese businessmen.
The closing is such big news that former Tribune food writer (and current editor of The Onion’s AV Club) Kevin Pang un-retired his jersey from the world of restaurant news and broke the story via Chicago. Pang noted that Katsu is a throwback and prefers to let the food do the talking. They have zero social media presence.
Forget turkey this Thanksgiving — the most satisfying meal of the season could be Katsu’s omakase, as an iconic sushi restaurant prepares to fashion its last roll.
- Katsu, Whose Chef Could Turn Sushi Into a Story, Will Close This November [Chicago]
- Grant Achatz's favorite Chicago restaurants [Bloomberg, via Crain’s]