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Aug 30, 2012 10:12 AM

Hama-ko in Cole Valley closing

Hama-ko Sushi is closing after 28 years. The owners are retiring. I don' have a specific close date, but it wil be toward the end of September.

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  1. Per my conversation with Junko, they are actually closing due to some sort of dispute with their landlord. (Her English is certainly better than my Japanese, but it's not great, so I don't know the details: I infer that the rent had simply been raised to the point where they couldn't afford it any more, but I could be wrong.) In any case, they are definitely not (yet) retiring: she said that they are looking for a new space, preferably something a little smaller.

    I will miss them like crazy: they are absolutely the best sushi I've had in the USA.

    4 Replies
    1. re: dr_memory

      "a little smaller"?!?

      Anyway, I did enjoy the meals I had there and I hope they find a new place. :)

      1. re: drewskiSF

        Heh, yes, smaller: 2 tables and a (presumably 4-6 person) bar. Given the speed at which they operate, that actually seems pretty reasonable, but sadly I'm not sure if (a) any such space exists in San Francisco, or (b) given current rents if it's possible to make such a place profitable serving only 1-3 turns per night. Tetsuo was adamant that he didn't want to retire, but sadly I suspect that the kind of restaurant they want to run really can't be done in SF these days, which is a goddamn tragedy.

        1. re: dr_memory

          ino, kappa, kiss (and a bunch of other little japanese places scattered around the city) make it work.

      2. re: dr_memory

        A few years ago there were also rumors that Hama-ko would close due to a landlord dispute. At the time, they were on a month-to-month basis and mostly able to stay because the space is too small and lacks the ventilation needed for a stove that another restaurant would need.