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Another chain restaurant set to be replaced on Broadway

Genki Sushi 080314 (1)

GS_LOGOThe Broadway Building, a project from a Capitol Hill-based developer across from Seattle Central at the corner of Broadway and Pine, has become an interesting place to watch some of the smaller shifts in the neighborhood’s food and drink economy as the city’s move to a $15 minimum wage plays out.

No word, yet, from the big chain’s corporate bosses on their decision to close the restaurant, but Broadway’s only conveyor belt sushi joint has announced it will close later this month. Genki Sushi, which opened in the Broadway Building five years ago, will close next week.

In its place, CHS has been told a local restaurant is already set to put the kaiten back in motion in the Hunters Capital-owned building.

While management of the Hawaii-based Genki chain with restaurants in the islands, Washington, and California hasn’t yet commented on the closure, the change will be the third transition from a chain or franchise in the building. In November, Ian’s Pizza on the Hill replaced a pizza joint whose owner blamed the city’s treatment of franchises as large chain restaurants for her decision to bail on Broadway.

Seattle’s minimum wage law kicked into high gear in 2016. Starting in January, minimum wage workers at companies with more than 500 employees got a an 18% bump in pay from $11 to $13 an hour. Small business employees were bumped up to a $12 guaranteed minimum, an increase of $1, and those who are tipped now get a $.50 base-pay raise bringing their minimum hourly wage to $10.50.

News of the Genki closure was broadcast by another of the Broadway Building’s new era of tenants. Local player Refresh Frozen Desserts replaced departed fro yo chain Yogurtland in September.


Like frozen yogurt and pizza, the departure of the sushi chain now opens a space for an independent — or, at least, non-big chain or non-franchise — entrepreneur to open on Broadway.

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19 thoughts on “Another chain restaurant set to be replaced on Broadway

  1. The staff at this place was always great, but unfortunately the Sushi was fairly terrible. We’ve stopped going there months ago since we can walk to Blue C as well.

    • Plenty of restaurants in town are making it happen. If you can’t run a business without devaluing the cost of labor so badly that your employees are scraping by on poverty wages, don’t run a business. Period.

  2. I wanted to like this place because my kids liked to go there, but the items on the table were always filthy – like they were never cleaned between customers.

  3. I remember when this place opened. They ran a $1 sushi special once a month (on all plates) and my roommate at the time and I would take full advantage. There used to be one in Queen Anne as well. When people would complain about it and compare it to Momiji, Japonessa, etc. I’d point out that it is a great spot for lunch when you need to pop in and out really quick and far less expensive than other places (for a reason). I haven’t eaten there in awhile, but I believe I need to change this and say my goodbyes.

  4. It is good to see that a chain is being replaced by an independent business. I met a friend at the north end of Broadway over the weekend. I don’t go there often, but when I do, I am always struck by how much it resembles a suburban strip mall. It is mostly chains, and all of the businesses have the cheap looking backlit plastic signs. It isn’t appealing.

    • huh? a suburban strip mall? from harrison north to roy there are:

      pho cyclo
      samurai noodle
      herb & bitter
      blue moon
      social skins tattoos
      the tobacco shop
      bait shop
      lab 5 fitness
      rom mai
      eat local
      new india express
      la cocina
      and a church!

      and several more places that i’m likely forgetting. are there some chains in there too? sure, but for the most part, north broadway has a good mix of locally owned businesses. try actually visiting a suburb like renton or kent and you’ll see that broadway is nothing like a strip mall.

  5. Way to randomly shove in the minimum wage criticism, despite the fact that there’s no evidence to back up this had ANYTHING to do with the minimum wage.

    Since restaurants have been opening at an increasing rate and this was a shit sushi joint, maybe there’s a different reason for this closure.

    You are bad at reporting.