South Palafox restaurant Nom Sushi Izakaya is closing its doors this month after seven years of service.
The owners of the Japanese-inspired modern American eatery, Elizabeth and Brad Jones, released a statement on the restaurant's Facebook page Wednesday afternoon regarding the 410 S. Palafox St. restaurant's closure, slated for Jan. 29.
“This hasn’t been an easy decision but it’s one that we’re proud of. Nom has been an absolute labor of love and an honor to bring to life,” the statement said. "We’re excited to take this time to focus on growth and health and planning for the future of our business."
Elizabeth Jones also credited the “loyalty of the Pensacola community” in helping the restaurant and its employees survive the challenges of the pandemic, in addition to the support received from family, friends and their team. Despite a trying two years for the service industry as a whole, the closure came while the restaurant was still experiencing financial success, she said.
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She said once finishing out the holidays, the start of the year is always a natural lull in the restaurant industry. The Jones wanted to shut their doors at a time that would hurt the least and be able to inform their staff in-person, she said.
Even with the closure so close on the horizon, Nom's chefs and wait staff are sticking around to continue dinner service Tuesday through Saturday from 3 to 9 p.m. through the closing date.
"We've got the best team," she said.
Jones said she and husband started the road to creating the restaurant eight years ago in March, constructing the menu around the concept of “izakaya,” or a small-plate style of eating meant to accompany alcoholic beverages.
"Small bites that you share with your friends and others while you're sipping on sake," Elizabeth Jones said of the meaning. "We were just excited to bring that concept to Pensacola, the first one here."
She added, "We have a love for Japanese culture and cuisine. We were just looking for something new to bring to the scene, and I think we created that here."
The menu was then crafted to offer a variety of sushi and signature rolls, shared plates and house-made ramen to accompany the restaurant's offering of sake, beer and wine.
Elizabeth Jones said the walking traffic and exposure from having a storefront on Palafox provided the restaurant with lots of consistent regulars and helped the business get its start.
"We've loved our time on Palafox, it's given us everything," she said. "We've kind of watched it come up around us. ... We are grateful to the community forever."
The closure on Palafox does not necessarily mark the end for Nom as a business, though plans for relocation have not yet been disclosed. Instead, she said, this will be a transitionary time for the two to rest and recharge.
"We would love to grow this and grow the brand we have worked so hard for. Hospitality is a tough business, so were going to take a breather and get back into it," Elizabeth Jones said.
This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: Nom Sushi Ikazkaya on Palafox in Pensacola closing this month