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North Halsted Street Mainstay Yoshi's Café Set To Close This Month After Nearly 40 Years In Business

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Yoshi's Café on North Halsted Street is going out of business after nearly 40 years in operation.

The restaurant at 3257 N. Halsted St. has announced on its website that its last day will be Sunday, Dec. 12.

Yoshi's first opened in 1982, founded by chef Yoshi Katsumura. On the strip of North Halsted Street that became known as Boystown, Sidetrack bar and nightclub opened the same year. About a block to the north and across the street, long-departed iconic businesses such as The Bread Shop health food store and the Caffe Pergolesi coffeehouse were going strong. And about half a mile to the northwest, the Cubs still only played baseball during the day at Wrigley Field.

Founder Katsumura founded the French-Japanese fusion restaurant after honing his culinary skills in Japan and France, as well as with top restaurants in Chicago.

Katsumura – a native of Ibaraki, Japan – was 20 when he apprenticed with Iron Chef Hiroyuki Sakai in Tokyo, and also learned the fine details of French cooking before coming to Chicago in 1973, according to Yoshi's website.

Katsumura worked for top-rated French restaurants in Chicago and spent months developing his skills as a chief in Lyon, France. He then returned to Chicago as a chef and partner at the French fusion restaurant Jimmy's Place, at 3420 N. Elston Ave. in the Avondale community, and went on to establish Yoshi's.

The website for Yoshi's describes its own menus as "epitomiz(ing) the word 'eclectic.'

"Diners flock to North Halsted Street for the perennial favorite, Tuna Tartare, accompanied by creamy guacamole and a sake-fused oyster shooter," the restaurant says on its website.

In 2011, as noted by the restaurant's website, Yoshi's also hosted a Relief for the People of Japan fundraising dinner following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan that year – raising $10,000. The following year, Yoshi's also hosted a fundraising dinner to support New Yorkers following the devastating Superstorm Sandy that fall.

The southeast corner of Halsted Street and Aldine Avenue where the restaurant is located acquired the honorary name Yoshi Katsumura Way in 2014.

Katsumura passed away in 2015. His widow, Nobuko, kept going as proprietor, while their son, Ken, took over as chef, according to the website. reported Nobuko Katsumura has sold the restaurant space and has decided to move on.

On Sunday, Dec. 12, Yoshi's is planning a "grand last hurrah" with "delicious buffet, fabulous cocktails, stories, hugs, tears, and more." Tickets for two time slots – noon to 4 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. - are available through Tock.

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