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Sheboygan’s Kiku of Tokyo closing after 38 years

Kiku of Tokyo is located at 3709 Kohler Memorial Drive in Sheboygan
Kiku of Tokyo is located at 3709 Kohler Memorial Drive in Sheboygan

TOWN OF SHEBOYGAN — Kiku of Tokyo, a Japanese steakhouse restaurant is closing on Sheboygan’s far west side.

The restaurant, located at 3709 Kohler Memorial Drive in the Town of Sheboygan, announced the closure in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “With a heavy heart, we will be closing for good on May 1, 2022.” Kiku of Tokyo first opened in February 1984 inside the Sunnyside Mall on Sheboygan’s far south side before relocating to its present location in 2004, where chefs prepared meals at tableside grills.

Earlier this year, the locally owned and operated establishment was searching for chefs, the future of the restaurant unknown at the time but was still open. The locally owned and operated restaurant had earned high praise over the years, reaching 4.5 stars from nearly 200 Google Reviews.

The property is owned by Jin Hee Chung of North Port, Florida, a city 85 miles south of Tampa. Ownership of the restaurant was transferred to Chung via a deed quit claim in November 2021. Prior to that, Jason Y. Chung of Sheboygan had owned the property since 2013 and Sung Kyung Chung and Aekyung Chung of Vernon Hills, Illinois since 2004.

A few months ago, the 5,000-square-foot building was listed for sale. According to Gottsacker Commercial, the asking price is $495,000. The building sits on 0.84 acres of land located directly west of the Sheboygan DMV and Meijer store.

Building was part of Dr. David Hehli’s legacy

Before Kiku of Tokyo opened, the building was home to Midwest Dental Care. In 1982, Dr. David Hehli purchased the former Spur gas station, demolished it to build an eight-chair dental clinic that would become Midwest Dental’s 14th location. In 2001, the clinic relocated to 638 Riverfront Drive and Hehli sold the building to the Chung family in 2004.

Dr. Hehli died in July 2020 at the age of 77 and Midwest Dental was acquired by California-based Smile Brands, Inc. months later. Today, the company has over 230 offices in 17 states through four brands; Midwest Dental, Mondovi Dental, Merit Dental, and Mountain Dental. It employs around 2,300 people, according to a spokesperson.