Tuscaloosa's beloved Ichiban Japanese Grill & Sushi will permanently close next month to make way for new development at the corner of Hackberry Road and 15th Street, and its owners have launched a fundraising drive to open in a new location.

Hiu Yi Chow, the younger brother of the restaurant's co-owner, launched a GoFundMe Saturday, explaining that the owner of the property on which Ichiban sits issued them a final 30-day notice to move out of the complex Friday.

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"In mid-March, Ichiban will be officially closed until further notice," Chow wrote. "They are currently desperately looking for another place to relocate our favorite Tuscaloosa Roll we enjoy so much!  Even though they are business owners and are very wise with their money, this is an unexpected event happening. They were totally not expecting this to happen in such a short notice.  Since no prior notice was given, there have been no preparation made for the relocation.  They do not know how long they will be out and how much money will be needed into the new location."

Lovers of the Tuscaloosa institution donated almost $1,000 to the drive in just 12 hours. Chow's stated goal is $5,000.

The lot is owned by Hackberry Property, LLC, a subsidiary of Capital Growth Buchalter. In addition to Ichiban, the property houses Sitar Indian Cuisine and the abandoned AMF Bama Lanes, which closed in spring 2019 ahead of the opening of the Bowlero bowling alley on McFarland Boulevard.

There is no word yet on if Sitar will also have to close down and leave the complex. A manager there said Saturday that if the owners have received a similar notice, the staff has not yet been informed.

Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more details as they become available.

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