On Seasons of Japan's corporate website, the Irvine address of this Georgia-based chain still bears the word "Now Open" in red and with an exclamation point. It debuted earlier this summer. Our middling review of it published in the fall. But it's now winter and it appears this first California location for the chain might be a bust.
It was fellow Forker Anne Marie who saw people inside the restaurant ripping out the LCD screens from the walls. She texted me the other night with the news and to also tell me that all the wicker chairs were stacked up in columns barricading the windows.
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Calls I subsequently made to the restaurant were unanswered, so I went to look for myself. I saw the LCD screens that were the menu marquees have indeed been removed. The place looks like it's preparing to be permanently shuttered.
Their free WiFi, however, is still working. I still remembered the password, so I logged in with my laptop and wrote most of this article on a metal patio table outside. While I did, I witnessed other people walk up to look into the darkened windows, all of them probably wondering whether it is closed for good, or whether the barely 6-month-old restaurant was already due for a remodeling.