Yoshi's Restaurant closes after less than 6 months on East Liberty in downtown Ann Arbor
Yoshi’s Restaurant, a Middle Eastern eatery on East Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor, has closed less than six months after it opened.
Sales didn't generate the cash flow needed to keep the 40-seat restaurant afloat while it established itself, said owner Aboud Kaskorkis. He said he would know more later this week about his next move.
“When you open a restaurant, you should have operating money set aside. We ran out of money before we opened,” Kaskorkis said.
Yoshi’s closed its doors at the end of 2009 and hasn’t been open in 2010. Kaskorkis said the restaurant’s future is uncertain.
But Lyle Beckwith, property manager for Oxford Properties, which manages the building for Liberty Plaza Associates, the investment group that owns the property, said Kaskorkis was in the middle of moving out of the space at 241 E. Liberty and that new tenants are sought. Beckwith said four potential tenants already have made contact.
“There is a long time left on the lease,” said Jeff Hauptman, a managing member with Oxford Properties. “But (Kaskorkis) has asked us to find someone else.”
Dinersty, a Chinese restaurant, last occupied the 2,800-square-foot space, but was asked to leave, Hauptman said. "We felt it wasn’t a good fit.”
Kaskorkis took a year-and-a-half to ready the space, Hauptman said, and struggled with code issues with the city of Ann Arbor.
Yoshi’s opened in mid-summer to an Ann Arbor field already crowded with Middle Eastern restaurants, including long-established Jerusalem Garden just a block away.
The restaurant served Middle Eastern food such as hummus, baba ghannouj, fattoush, tabbouli and grape leaves.
Kaskorkis and co-owner Yasir Kaskorkis bumped into problems from the beginning, including the need to serve their meals on disposable plates because the city would not allow a dishwashing machine without adding a separate ventilation system.
But the space has been completely remodeled and is in turnkey condition for another restaurant, Hauptman said. “We haven’t even put it on the market yet and there has been significant interest.”
For more information on Yoshi's Restaurant, visit AnnArbor.com's restaurant guide.Â