A Houston area restaurant is hoping to stop two intruders from striking again.
According to the restaurant’s owner, two men in masks broke into the business Friday morning, smashing windows and breaking the door.
Shun Japanese Kitchen co-owners take pride in sharing Japanese food and culture and now they are spreading the word about two thieves still on the run.
Chef Naoki Yoshida and his wife pastry chef Renee Yoshida opened Shun Japanese Kitchen four years ago. It was their first business together and they say food is their passion.
“Shun really means a lot to us, especially me and my wife. We are second-generation Japanese, so we’re trying to implement our concept, our ideas,” Naoki said.
Naoki built most of the woodwork inside the restaurant. Renee is a designer and she created the interior of the restaurant, making sure to include important elements of Japanese culture including nods to the fishing industry, Japanese sake barrels, patterns, and more.
“We’ve put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into our business,” Naoki said. “I built the bar and a lot of the woodwork around Shun.”
“It’s kind of like our baby,” Renee laughed.
However, Friday around 1 a.m., it was no laughing matter. The couple says they got an alert.
“Security alarms went off, so that’s how we got notified,” Naoki said.
Surveillance video shows two intruders hop Shun Kitchen’s side fence, and then smash the door windows and enter the business.
The two then went straight to the cashier and hostess stand. The same method of operation the Yoshida’s saw back in October 2021 when their business was broken into the first time. In that case, from 2021, thieves got away with iPads, liquor, and money.
This time, the intruders got nothing. However, it was unsettling for the owners.
“They definitely seemed like they’ve been here before because they knew exactly where to go,” Naoki added.
The couple says they called Houston police.
Assessing the damage, the couple saw the intruders had exited the restaurant, breaking the wooden side fence that Naoki built.
“They ripped down the whole thing,” Naoki said.
And then, it costs the business hundreds of dollars to replace the door.
“There was glass everywhere,” he said.
Ultimately, the owners said, they can always replace things, but they hope to spread the word about the crime.
Houston police said many restaurants are experiencing break-ins, and the Yoshidas hope that the crime stops.
“This is one of the obstacles that always happen—daily,” Naoki said.
He said they remain resilient and focused on their food, service, and customers. They were open Friday, despite having been up since 1 a.m.
“Here we are again today. [Just] another day for us,” Naoki said. “We can try to find the people or minimize the amount of breaking in in the Houston right now—especially during these times.”
“The guests, the staff, everything here—just means everything to us,” Renee added.