ALAMEDA (KCBS) – A popular Japanese restaurant in Alameda owned by a 92-year-old woman was badly damaged by fire early Friday morning.
Officials told KCBS that the fire broke out around 4:00 a.m. at the Kamakura Restaurant at Santa Clara and Broadway.
While firefighters were able to put out the flames in about 10 minutes, officials said there is smoke damage throughout the restaurant and it may be a while before it can reopen.
Kamakura has been in Alameda since 1981. Maria, a longtime diner, told KCBS that the restaurant run by Faith Yamato is a beloved presence at the restaurant and makes customers feel special, particularly on their birthdays.
“After you eat, you get a little plum wine. She has rice candy for the kids, she remembers everybody. She’s amazing with children, it’s moving,” she said.
Yamato’s son Wayne helps run the restaurant and told his mother the news of the fire as she was preparing to go to work. Wayne was reluctant to show the damage to the sushi bar and Japanese artwork.
“She was just kind of stunned, just stunned. And it just didn’t really sink in,” he said.
Investigators told KCBS that the cause of the fire may have been electrical.