Cedar Rapids restaurant closes after bug infestation

A Cedar Rapids Japanese restaurant is closing for good, just weeks after performing a pest inspection.

Osaka Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, located at 5001 1st Ave SE, announced on its Facebook page it would be shutting down operations permanently at the end of business hours, Saturday.

“Thank your [sic] for the support and love that everyone has been showing us,” read the post. “That’s being said, today is the last day and we want to see you one last time, so come by and say hi!”

Though no explanation for the closure was given in the original post, Osaka Manager Sarah Knoot said the restaurants’ loss of clients following the recent posting of a viral video and news coverage of it was to blame.

Late last month, Shannon Fay had captured on camera what appeared to be cockroaches running across a table, while dining at the restaurant. At least one similar complaint had been reported to local health inspectors.

Knoot said customers had become "scared" to return to Osaka in recent weeks and the restaurant wasn't making enough money to continue running.

Osaka did what it could to ease health concerns following the publication of Fay’s experience on social media. The restaurant temporarily closed and called in a pest control company to spray the facility. Online, employees told customers Osaka was “closing on our own to take care of this as quickly and thoroughly as possible to maintain the level of excellence that you can expect from us.”

The restaurant reopened for dinner on November 2, posting to Facebook that Terminix of NE Iowa had “sprayed twice over the last couple of days.”

Knoot said that customers can receive a full refund for any recently purchased gift cards if they came into the restaurant before the end of Saturday’s business hours.

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