Takah Sushi, one of Aspen’s longest running restaurants, will remain open for at least another year, owner Casey Coffman said Thursday.
The 33-year-old business — including all restaurant equipment and the lease for its 3,382-square-foot space on the Mill Street Mall — has been up for sale the past two years. The original price tag was $1.4 million before dropping to $650,000 recently.
“There’s another year on my lease, and I was unsuccessful in securing another plan,” Coffman, 70, said, adding that the lease is set to expire in the spring of 2015.
Coffman’s 35-year-old daughter, Sasha Sells — who has become increasingly involved in management during the past few years — will be running the show, while Coffman will serve as “maitre d emeritus.”
“I just think it’s great that it will be a part of the community for another year,” Sells said. “It’s going to be a good year.”
From season to season, the restaurant employs anywhere from 35 to 40 people. Coffman noted that the news was well-received by employees.
“They were pretty happy,” she said. “They have reluctantly — some of them — looked for other jobs, and I’m kind of hoping to get most of them back together and keep them there. I have a very wonderful staff right now. They were very loyal and stayed with me the whole time, even though they knew that was a possibility that it would be disbanding.”
The restaurant will close for the offseason Saturday and will reopen in June.
Sells was in preschool when Coffman and her ex-husband George Sells opened the restaurant in 1982. The business kept Coffman in debt for seven years, all the while gaining traction as a hip dining option in Aspen. Soon, big-name diners like Yoko Ono, Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman and Rupert Murdoch were stopping in, Coffman told the Times in 2008.
When another Aspen sushi-restaurant option, Kenichi, opened in the mid-’90s headed by former Takah Sushi employee, Ken Kanada, Coffman’s business dropped by about a quarter. But numbers rebounded with a remodeling project at the restaurant’s original space near the Hyman Avenue Mall. Coffman moved the business to its current space in 2005.