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Takara

Server Amanda Chen delivers lunches at Takara, 696 S. Whitney Way, in this 2005 photo. 

After 15 years on State Street, the Japanese restaurant Takara is leaving at the end of the month.

Erica Ni, who owns the restaurant with husband Brian Ni and his sister Jeanne Ni, said the landlord wanted to lock them into a 5- or 10-year lease, but they wanted something in the two or three-year range.

Plus, she said, the rent is too high for them and they were held responsible for too many building issues.

Ni said they have brokers looking for another Downtown space, but they haven't found the perfect one yet. "We've been looking for about six months already," Ni said.

It's hard to find a spot that has already been a restaurant and doesn't need an expensive build-out, and fits their price range, Ni said. 

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Summers are slow on State Street, so they have time to do a careful search, Ni said.

It's hard to leave 315 State St., because business there has been good, Ni said. "We have to make a decision. We don't want to get stuck in there. If we move somewhere else we can do better later... I hope the customers understand that."

Pete Mitropoulos, who owns the building, said the Nis didn't give him a reason for leaving. "They have three other restaurants obviously in town. It's their loss, I guess."

The Nis have a Takara on Whitney Way, Takara 88 in Middleton, and they recently opened Ramen Station on Park Street.

Before the State Street sushi spot, Mitropoulos' parents, Jimmy and Irene Mitropoulos, ran Zorba's gyro restaurant in that location for nearly 30 years.

Read more Restaurant News at: http://go.madison.com/restaurantnews.

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