Mercer Island institution Haruko’s to close

Last day for Japanese restaurant is Saturday, May 26.

After 23 years on Mercer Island, the Japanese restaurant Haruko’s is to close.

Husband and wife, Isao and Yasuko Wakayama, have owned and operated Haruko’s on Mercer Island since 1989.

The couple came to the Island in 1989 when they purchased the business that was located on the land where Aljoya is now. The restaurant has been its present location next to Rite Aid for five years.

According to Nathan Belo, who represented the Wakayamas in the sale of their business, the owner was facing a longer lease commitment than he wanted. They are now planning to retire.

The restaurant, located at 3033 78th Avenue S.E., will be renamed Phobulous and will serve Vietnamese food and bubble tea.

The new owners are Carolyn and Andy Nguyen, who have had a similar restaurant on the Eastside.

Wakayama was born and raised in Nagoya, a port city on the Pacific Coast of Japan. Mrs. Wakayama was born in Osaka, but grew up in a small, rural town outside of Tokyo. Both moved to New York City, where they met in their early 20s.

The last day for the business is Saturday, May 26.

To contact the restaurant, call 236-1557.


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