benihana toronto

Legendary teppanyaki restaurant has closed after 48 years in Toronto

Toronto's outpost of the world famous restaurant Benihana has shuttered its doors for good after 48 years of hibachi dinner theatre. 

The Benihana located in Toronto's Fairmont Royal York hotel is now permanently closed. It marks the closure of Canada's only Benihana. 

Neither the international Japanese restaurant brand nor Fairmont Royal York were available to comment on why one of Toronto's most iconic dining destinations has called it quits after nearly half a century.  

Benihana first opened in Toronto's historic hotel in the summer of 1973, nearly a decade after founder Hiroaki "Rocky" Aoki (Steve and Devon's dad) wowed New York with its first taste of Japanese teppanyaki.

The original four-table restaurant, Benihana of Tokyo, became a cultural phenom, attracting clients like Muhammad Ali and members of the Beatles. 

There are now hundreds of similar restaurants worldwide, including copycats (looking at you, Montreal), but Benihana was the brand that paved the way for the knife-spinning theatrics and mid-air chops now synonymous with tourists' teppanyaki. 

Benihana still operates scores of franchises in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Brazil, though the status of those depend on when global citizens will be able to dine habachi-side again.

Lead photo by

Chandler Fashion Centre of Benihana Arizona

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