Tommy Shin, owner of Mississippi Ave. sushi restaurant Samurai Blue, announced on October 8 that he’s closing the restaurant on October 22 after six years of service. But that doesn’t mean he’s giving up the space—instead, it’s changing to a counter service ramen and izakaya eatery.
Shin told Eater PDX that while he wanted to offer the best quality sushi at an affordable price, he couldn’t keep up with labor and food costs, so he is focusing on his other strengths.
“My other speciality is ramen,” he says, referring to recently opened Nama Ramen in Sellwood, “So it’s going to be counter service ramen and izakaya. We’re still going to be serving poke—it’s easy to prep that without bringing the quality down.”
He doesn’t plan on this being the end of his sushi dreams, though. Shin will be holding onto the name Samurai Blue for a future site, one where he can run a more cost effective sushi program.
The restaurant moving into the current Samurai Blue space is yet unnamed. Shin hopes to open two weeks after the space closes on October 22, but admits that it is up to the city how accurate that prediction will be.