Update: Tokyo Cafe temporarily closes due to fire

Posted 12:23pm on Monday, Jun. 23, 2014

Tokyo Cafe, the popular and long-running west Fort Worth restaurant, is temporarily closed because of a fire that occurred early Monday at the restaurant.

“Please keep our entire Tokyo family in your prayers as we overcome this event together,” says a message on the restaurant’s Facebook page, which is also the place to go for updates on a reopening.

According to Fort Worth Fire Capt. Richard Harrison, a call came in as “smoke in the area” around 2:40 a.m. Monday. A fire team found smoke coming from the roof, began work to suppress the blaze, and called in an alarm.

Ultimately, 10 units were involved in fighting the fire, with almost 30 firefighters. It was under control and out at 3:04 a.m.

Contacted by DFW.com, chef Kevin Martinez said he didn’t have much information about the fire or the extent of the damage. “It’s not a good feeling,” Martinez said. “That’s my other home.”

The restaurant is owned by Mary Kha Ho and husband Jarry, whose parents opened Tokyo Cafe in 1997 (Jarry took over in 2002, and Mary joined the business in 2006). In 2011, the couple also opened Shinjuku Station on West Magnolia Avenue.

The building was built in 1971 and is easily recognized as a former Pizza Hut.

The electrical system had never been upgraded and may be the cause, Jarry Ho said. The fire started at the electrical plug near phones and computers, he added.

Ho said repairs are expected to take three to five months and he is considering a temporary relocation nearby.

He said plans will continue for a new Chinese cafe off South Jennings Avenue on West Cannon Street, with an opening by New Year's.

Star-Telegram staff writers Terry Evans and Bud Kennedy contributed to this report, which includes materail from DFW.com archives.

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