Tonight is the last night for Tokyo Bay

This one hits close to home. Tonight will be Tokyo Bay’s last night on Duane Park, and I just ordered enough spicy salmon hand rolls (their traditional offering at Taste — I usually dedicated three punches to them) to hopefully make the memory last.

Billy Liu opened in that spot in 2002 — it was his first restaurant — having found Tribeca to be an antidote to his neighborhood in the East Village and the madness that is the West Village.

“The people were nice here — friendly — and the neighborhood was quiet,” he said. “It didn’t have the crowds that the East Village has, and I liked that.”

But after 18 years, he couldn’t survive the blow that is the pandemic. His landlord could not give him a break on rent, and with the Citi Bike station blocking his piece of curb, he couldn’t put tables in the street like his neighbors to the east. He lasted as long as he could, he said, by paying out of his own pocket.

He’d like to find a small spot in Tribeca if he can, but so far, he said, nothing is affordable. Let’s hope that turns around. He promised to keep in touch.



  1. This is such sad news.

  2. Come and open in Townsville, Australia. Very affordable and we would love to have you!

  3. Hey Greedy Landlord,

    Tenant since 2002 so he opened RIGHT AFTER 9/11 and you want rent he can’t pay (during a pandemic), and if he can’t pay it who can?

  4. So sad to see this…

  5. Total neighborhood bummer! Wishing Billy well in future endeavors. Will be missed so much! Staff so nice!

  6. The former Vin Sur Vingt on West Broadway would be perfect. Quaint, small, great window seating (For the future) and tons of potential for a great outdoor set-up!

  7. i’ve been a customer since the beginning. billy is a prince. more than an excellent sushi chef, he is an artist and a gentleman. i wish him and his family well…

  8. I’ve know Billy for many years and was a regular customer from the beginning. He is an excellent sushi chef and nice guy. I wish him and his family the best of luck. I look forward to his next restaurant.

  9. So many happy times in Tokyo Bay, so many excellent take outs, always such consistent quality. This is a real gut punch. I REALLY hope he reopen somewhere. Best of luck.

  10. So very sad. Can’t help wondering just what these landlords are thinking? In the last 50 years Tribeca has seen its fair share of businesses coming and going. Cant make sense out of empty stores. Not only now during this virus but for years at Independence Plaza.

  11. So sad, our family love going there for a Friday/Weekend Dinner. Their staff was always so kind to our two boys – providing them with kid chopsticks and attention. Hope that they find another location in the neighborhood.

  12. I hope he finds a new spot nearby. I have so many memories of great meals at Tokyo Bay!

  13. Billy worked 6 and 7 days a week and had some of the best sushi in NYC. I don’t see how Tribeca, or NYC as a whole, comes back from the combination of the pandemic and the hyper partisan politics that drive people and businesses away?

    • The answer is: by eliminating the ridiculous municipal regulations.

      8,000 restaurants got street and sidewalk cafe permission in a day where it used to take months, if ever!! No need now for input from the CB and its committees, filing with Dept of Consumer Affairs, adherence to zoning, etc. The City Council all but forced deBlasio to follow the lead of cities like Chicago and Cincinnati who had earlier done this.

      DOB, DOH, etc. can all follow and we can furlough more City workers who will no longer be needed to catalog the data and process and enforce a lot of the silly rules.

  14. We are so sad to see Billy and the Tokyo Bay team close up shop!! Before we met, Roland would get their sushi deluxe at least twice a week. After we moved in and Clare cooked more, it became more of a weekly tradition.

    We also loved going to sit at the sushi counter, order some delicious sake – Billy always had great suggestions for the best fish of the day.

    Billy, please let us know how we can support your next endeavor!!

  15. My family is so sad to see Tokyo Bay closed, especially our son. We ordered/dined at least once per week. We really hope that Billy is able to launch a new restaurant.

  16. We loved Tokyo Bay! Saddened beyond belief. Please find that “small place” in TriBeCa and tell us where so we can all come and support you! Damned be the landlords that are doing this to the community.