End of an Era on 41st Street: Yagura to Close Today

Yesterday, we received word from a Lunch’er via twitter that Yagura, hailed as the best deal among the Japanese grocers on 41st between 5th and Madison and a favorite of Midtown Lunchers, is closing TODAY. In deep confusion and sadness we must ask with urgency, What is the meaning of this? Our source says Yagura will be closing indefinitely, and it sounds like it could be lease issues although we don’t know for sure. In this short time frame we’re drawing upon our readers to shed any light on the situation, as this could possibly be the last day of Yagura awesomeness for a while, or perhaps forever! Any tips, inside knowledge, or dirty rumors would be greatly appreciated.

UPDATE: It appears as if the news is true. ┬áCheck out the sign after the jump…


  • Very much hoping that this is not true..

  • i just went yesterday. didn’t notice anything.

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    there is a sign on the door: “To Our Loyal Customers:
    Thank you for supporting our store since it first opened in 1997. Unfortunately, we will be closing our doors due to the fact that we must leave the premise. Until our new location is decided, September 28th, 2012 will be the last day of service. We hope to see you soon.
    Thank you.

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    Retail gentrification? http://heraldsquareproperties.com/assets/pdf/092711HSP.pdf

    No doubt the same reason the travel agency moved.

    Hopefully Yagura will find somewhere close by. Any suggestions?

  • If the universe is as hateful as I think it is, maybe it’s where they’re moving the Bryant Park Cosi into.

  • Their food was nasty. Not surprised.

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    Sad. Their curry is the best I’ve had in the city and their market was small but had all the basics. Hope they find a few space soon.

  • Thank you to all of our readers who helped us out. So, did the real estate people just increase the rent so much that they had to leave? Or did they not renew the lease of a business who has been there 15 years?

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      My guess would be both – landlord wants more rent, and to give the building a more upscale feel, so forcing out a not so upscale tenant with increased rent that couldn’t be supported by the business is a happy side effect for them.

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        The building is getting old but this was part of the charm of this place. I’m not sure if this place would be the same in a more modern setting.


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    Food here was beyond terrible. Their soba noodles broth tasted like dishwater. The kitchen behind the curtain always looked dirty. They only had the redeeming quality of the grocery and bakery in front and Sunrise Mart does the grocery better and Zaiya does the bakery better.

    Clearly the landlord has motives on the space now that Liberty Travel has vacated. One less choice for medicore Ramen and Teriyaki is not going to change the dynamic of 41st Street where you still have 3 choices for Japanese Bakery/Soba/Udon.

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    Went by today and found that it was closed. I didn’t see the notice posted though. They did respond to someone on Yelp that they will reopen once they find a new spot.

    I’ll miss this place a lot, my favorites were the chicken teriyaki and katsu-don. It was just good, no-frills food that was made fresh and at a good price. I’m glad to hear that they will re-open (hopefully not too far away!)

    When it comes to hot food, I always choose this place over the other Japanese ones on 41st. I also liked the sushi place when it was Chiyoda Sushi, but rarely go there anymore after it became Mai. I mostly only go to Zaiya/Sunrise Mart if I can’t even spare the few minutes of wait at Yagura.

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    This stinks as my wife and I loved Yagura and used to shop there each week for Japanese food stuff. In fact we had been in there just a couple days before it apparently closed and was so surprised when we went the next week and found it closed and the store empty.

    Yagura was and I hope will be again better then sunrise (the other Japanese store on 41st) Sunrise is more expensive and personally we find the staff there to be not so friendly. Yagura was always friendly and helpful!

    And we loved their sushi bought it for lunch each time we were there and each holiday season when we did our annual holiday walks about mid town for Christmas and new years we would make it part of our evening to stop into Yagura and get some nice warm noodles and Tempura Shrimp to warm ourselves back up.

    And darn it I love Orenami C (it’s a small Vitamin C Drink) and sunrise is way over priced for this and Yagura was a reasonable enough for this drink.

    Will be sorely missed and I do hope they come back!!!

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    They were my Midtown spot for cans of unsweetened tea, tofu and takana rice. The only other place in Manhattan I know that has cheap tea cans is Sunshine Mart, irritating as it is, down by Stuyvesant St.

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    I don’t know how why people are saying their food was nasty. I used to come after work for their little by the lb. buffet occasionally. They had yakisoba, veggies, some other kind of veggies that I didn’t know the name of but were really good, chicken and pork cutlets, mackerel, veggie croquets, fried chicken, and etc. I mean it was such a good price. I used to bring it home. Also, the kewpie mayo & yamasa soy sauce was the cheapest on the block.

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    My japanese friend (does this mean it’s valid info?) told me that there was a fire there. And that Yagura will be opening up in the space that held OMS/B rice ball restaurant at 156 East 45th Street New York, NY 10017. Let’s hope it’s true! It will be pretty small then.

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