Restaurant Closes So Chef Can Take His Son to LEGOLAND, Sign Goes Viral

Sushisasabuneglendale/ Instagram
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Chef Genji Sato never thought that taking a day off work would turn him into a national treasure, but his post on his restaurant’s Instagram Saturday—and the sign he left on his restaurant door—nearly broke the internet.

As he does every year in honor of his son’s birthday, he closed his restaurant Sasabune in Glendale, California to take Daiki, now 7, to Legoland. Nearly immediately, the post picked up steam, and a tweet of the sign from the restaurant already has 40,000 retweets and nearly 560,000 likes.

Sato, who has been a chef for more than 20 years, told TODAY he and wife, Kaya, began the tradition when their son, Daiki, turned 4. “We will be closed 2/28 Monday,” this year’s sign read. “Due to the chef takes his son to LEGOLAND for son’s 7th birthday.”

Daiki’s birthday is actually in October, but “I am going to the fish market every morning at five in the morning,” Sato told TODAY. “I don’t have much time to spend with family. I’m working so hard.” We see you, Sato. And we also appreciate your commitment to good sushi.

His restaurant, which emphatically declares “NO SPICY TUNA ROLL. NO CALIFORNIA ROLL. NO TEMPURA & TERIYAKI. SERIOUSLY!!” in its Instagram profile, kept him so busy that he didn’t have the time to take Daiko in October. But a delayed birthday trip to Legoland is better than none, and the family is currently there now.

So why did we lose our collective minds over one man’s day off? Maybe it’s because all the bad news out there has us begging for some relief. And after a few years where it’s seemed hard to catch a break, maybe we’re all cheering for the dad who carves it out for himself and his family.

This year’s celebration was the first time in two years the family has been able to return to Legoland since the pandemic. “It’s good to be with family,” said Sato. Because of course he did. He’s Sato.



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