After moving from New York City to Solon, Anna and Hank Saito opened Akira (6025 Kruse Dr.) in 1998. Since that time, the couple ran a dual-purpose restaurant as a fabulous spot for sushi and a family friendly hibachi destination. This week, the family decided that the time had come to retire. This past Saturday, February 2nd, was the final service.
In a note to longtime fans, owner Anna Saito informed the community of her decision.
“Time to say Sayonara,” she writes. “Time can be a nebulous thing. Seasons ebb and flow and the rich tapestry that we call Life often blurs past so quickly we barely notice how many cycles around the sun we have traveled. It is the most precious of commodities.
And as time passed, Akira became so much more than a restaurant. It became a place where lives touched, a meeting place of shared dreams, joys, happiness and celebrations where friends and family gathered around a central nucleus, the ever humble table, to talk, to laugh, converse and share a meal.
We hope that Akira has enriched your lives and touched your hearts as much as it has enriched and touched ours. It was always our intent that everyone who walked through the doors of Akira would be more than a customer. Over the years you have become our friends, our extended family and that is why my personal Rite of Passage has been such a bittersweet and painfully difficult decision.
After over three decades in the restaurant industry, I have decided to close Akira, retire and spend time with my husband and family. Our final evening was Saturday, February 2nd.
You have been a beautiful and deeply appreciated part of the magic of Akira and from the bottom of my heart, each and every one of you will always be a cherished part of me. It was a privilege to share your lives, your special moments and memories, your laughter and your tears.
I thank all of you for that privilege and wish you well in your personal journeys and future travels on roads unknown. Life is Beautiful and made more poignantly beautiful because of YOU.
I am forever grateful.”