By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Japanese restaurant Shogun has closed.
Owners Jack Lim and Karen Ma said employee problems led them to retire a year earlier than they had planned.
The couple on Tuesday told the Daily Journal they are moving back to South Korea next month.
They opened the North Gloster Street restaurant seven years ago. It featured traditional Japanese food, sushi and Tupelo’s first hibachi table.
“We’re so sad about our customers,” Ma said. “We prepared for a couple of years. It’s not bankruptcy. It’s not suddenly. We’re so happy to retire and go back to my country.”
Lim said he plans to give his recipes to Ichiban, a nearby Japanese restaurant. It’s unclear if Ichiban plans to incorporate any of the items into its menu.
Lim said they started talking three years ago about selling the business and retiring after he had hand surgery.
“We try to sell the business but it was hard,” Ma said.
The owners said they were planning to retire next year, but they sped up things after their employees walked out Thursday.
“Three or four times already this has happened,” Lim said. “This time, it’s over.”
Lim said he’s looking forward to spending more time fishing and Ma plans to teach music.
“Every job is hard, but a restaurant is very hard,” Ma said. “I miss my music. … I’m so sad that we can’t see any more customers. I’ll carry them in my heart.”
Added Lim, “I’m really sad, really sorry. We really appreciate everything. We love Tupelo.”