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Landmark Japantown Store Closes Its Doors In San Francisco

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(AP)

AnnaDuckworth20100909_KCBS_0483r Anna Duckworth
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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A Japantown grocery store is closing its doors on Saturday afternoon after more than a hundred years in business.

The Sakai Market on Post Street was founded during San Francisco’s rebuilding right after the great earthquake of 1906.

“I’m the youngest son’s youngest son,” said owner John Sakai. “My grandfather started this store 106 years ago.”

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Sakai said it was emotional to have to close the family’s store, especially as longtime patrons like Sandy Morimoto-Dineen stopped by.

“I was literally born and raised here, just a couple of blocks away. I’ve been in the neighborhood,” she said. “I’m a third-generation Japanese-American and we’ve all been born and raised right here. It’s all family.”

Morimoto-Dineen said she’s come to Sakai Market for all her traditional Japanese groceries over the years, especially fresh food.

Former employee Stan Takikawa said it will be missed. “There’s a lot of history behind it. I’m sure it’s going to be sad for a lot of folks who have shopped here,” he said.

The president of Japantown’s Merchants Association said he is hopeful that another Japanese business will move into the space.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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