Updated 4 p.m.
Wok Street, the Asian bowl spot from sushi-burrito specialist Hai Street Kitchen, has officially closed at 1518 Chestnut St., after six months with a sign on the door saying the location was “under renovation.”
The shutter has less to do with sales at the fast-casual bowl spot — it was relatively popular during the five or so months it was open — than with a much larger change. Hai Street’s parent company, Sakura Dining Corp., has officially separated from former owner Peace Dining Corporation (nee Genji). Part of the separation agreement was that the rights to the Wok Street concept would stay with Peace Dining, per Patrick Hughes, Sakura Dining director of operations.
“Due to the business deal,” Hughes said via email, “Sakura Dining Corp thought it best to close the operation at 1518 Chestnut street while looking for new locations for Hai Street and Ai Ramen.”
The general strength of the Hai Street brand is one of the reasons Sakura Dining chose to spin off into a separate entity, per Hughes. Hai Street is on an expansion tear, you might recall. Last year, Hughes told Billy Penn that the company aimed to have 36 locations open by the end of 2018. With the changes to the corporate structure, it’s unclear if that will actually happen, but things are rolling forward.
Hughes said three new Hai Streets would be open by the end of 2017, including one in Times Square NYC that opens the first week of May, and one in White Plains, NY, due to open late summer.