Supporters of Japoix, Lawrence Yee's French-Asian restaurant that opened two years ago last month in the beleaguered Beauvallon, are now mourning its demise. The restaurant, which suffered construction madness outside its front door for months, along with a series of chef changes, shuttered last Monday.
Back in 2010, when I interviewed Yee, he told me: "I have a lot of confidence that after the Beauvallon is finished with construction, and the retail tenants move back in, that everything will be fantastic."
And while the scaffolding has since disappeared and business seemed steady at the sleek restaurant, a pencil-scrawled sign on the door that simply says "closed" appeared early last week, and Lee posted a message on his Facebook page confirming the sad news: "Japoix is closed indefinitely, thank you everyone for the well wishes and I appreciate everyone who has made this place great. Onto another adventure," he wrote.
We'll wait and see what Yee's next adventure is, but the comments that follow his announcement clearly signify support, both from former guests and past employees, including staffer Jessica Birmingham, who had this to say:
Never have I met or worked for someone in the hospitality industry that held himself, and therefore the people around him to the high standards that Lawrence does. You have remained an inspiration of standards since the day I started working with you. Thank you for that. You may not know and maybe are not told enough how your dedication leave lasting impressions on everyone you touch. Hope all is well with Ran and kids, you are in my prayers and have every ounce of faith that you will hold true to being amazing in any endeavor you embark on.
And there are many more kind comments for Yee, with friends calling him a "rock star" and others giving him thanks for making them a "sushi ninja."
But it was Justin Jojola who summed up the closure most succinctly: "Well...that sucks."
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