The first restaurant in the country to have a karaoke bar—Bush Garden—is no more, at least for now.
Owner Karen Sakata chose not to renew the lease after months of not being able to open, due to Covid-19 restrictions. On Jan. 31, she vacated the space and turned in the keys to the landlord.
When asked for an interview, Sakata told the Northwest Asian Weekly that she would be issuing her own statement “soon.”
The building that housed Bush Garden is set to be demolished. Sakata has an agreement with Interim CDA to lease commercial space in InterIm’s future affordable housing building, Uncle Bob’s Place, at South King Street and 8th Avenue South.
The building’s namesake—Bob Santos—was a community leader who frequented karaoke nights at Bush Garden. It is set to open in 2023.