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Minnesota's first Japanese restaurant to close permanently

It shut down temporarily in May, and now says it won't be returning.

After 60 years in business, Fuji Ya in Minneapolis has announced it's closing for good.

The restaurant in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood announced it would be temporarily closing in early May, having originally offered takeout and pickup amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

But an update on its website now confirms its closure is permanent.

"Thank you for your support! Unfortunately we are closing our doors," it reads.

The restaurant has a storied history in Minnesota, claiming to be the very first Japanese eatery in the state, opened by founder Reiko Weston in 1959.

After originally starting out from a two-car garage building, she moved into an old flour mill building on the Minneapolis riverfront in 1968.

In 1990 the building was bought out by the city, leading to an almost 10-year hiatus for Fuji Ya, before it reopened at Lyn-Lake.

It's the latest in a growing number of restaurants that have been forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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