Running a restaurant business is hard, but if you ever want an example of unwavering persistence, look no further than the space at 5501 Kavanaugh Blvd in the heights. The space has been occupied by Oishi for almost two years After a number of reader reports last week, we can confirm that Oishi has officially closed.
According to management, the space will undergo a transition into a yet un-named sports bar concept. This will be the third transition and the fourth restaurant to occupy this space since it opened as RJ Tao in 2012.
No word yet on when we can expect a reopen date, but it is clear that work has begun or will begin soon as the windows are already covered with paper.
The four concepts have all been a collaboration between the Chi family, and Robert Tju of Sushi Cafe and have changed almost annually. The first was RJ Tao, then moved to Cafe 5501 in 2013. A year later the space changed to Oishi.
With Oishi the group blended a much needed Thai concept with Hibachi for a wide spectrum of Asian flavors under one roof. Oishi has fared better than the previous two concepts in this space, but after almost two years and declining crowds it will once again change.
Hopefully with the change to a sport bar 5501 Kavanaugh will finally find an audience. Either way you have to admire the willingness to keep trying to make the space work. Many other business owners would have given up after one or two failed concepts.
We are told the group still has three years remaining on the lease, and there seems to be no plans to throw in the towel any time soon. With any luck the new space will add to the Height’s impressive restaurant line up. If not, can we go ahead and throw in a request for a good ramen spot and a karaoke bar?