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Jozu Closes After Serving Last Supper to Its Patrons

July 04, 2002|JESSICA STRAND | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Jozu Closes: After six years in business, Jozu suddenly closed its doors Sunday. Why would such a popular restaurant pull the plug? "Basically," says owner Andy Nakano, "my sub-lease is coming to an end, so my partners and I have decided to close. If we were to renew the sub-lease, it would go up 35%, which is just too much. It's time to move on." Nakano says he has managed to place most of his employees with restaurants around town. He's keeping a few people, including his executive chef, Hisashi Yoshiara, to help run his catering business. Nakano contacted loyal patrons so that they could enjoy a last supper at Jozu, but after 8 p.m. he closed the doors to the public and hosted a private farewell party for staff and friends. Some people lingered at the bar chatting, while others filed out giving Nakano long hugs and emotional farewells. Nakano plans to do some consulting work over the summer as well as continuing to operate his full-service catering business.

Small Bites: Robert De Niro and partner Agostino Scandri, owners of Ago in West Hollywood, are planning to open branches in Miami and New York City. At this moment, they're waiting for a permit to begin renovating a Miami space in the now defunct Serena restaurant owned by De Niro and Nobu Matsuhisa. They're also checking out Tribeca locations for their New York Ago ....If you love white asparagus, run to Rockenwagner, which serves it for just one more week. While you're there, try one of the gooey grilled panini at the Wunderbar

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