New owners to take over XO Asian Cuisine

XO Asian Cuisine, Soho Sushi Bar, new owner
A sign on the door of XO Asian Cuisine in downtown Grand Rapids on Oct. 11, 2016 announced a pending change in ownership.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Months after being forced to shut down for a week due to health code violations, XO Asian Cuisine says it will soon be closing its doors.

According to a letter posted on the front door, new owners will be taking over the downtown Grand Rapids restaurant, located on 58 Monroe Center Street NW. The owner told 24 Hour News 8 that the business never returned strong enough after health code violations forced it to shut down in April 2016.

XO Asian Cuisine, Soho Sushi Bar, new owner
A sign on the door of XO Asian Cuisine in downtown Grand Rapids announcing a change in ownership. (Oct. 11, 2016)

XO Asian Cuisine will remain open until further. The owners say the restaurant will be closed for two weeks while it undergoes renovations, then will reopen as “Soho Sushi and Bar.” It will likely happen in November, although the time frame is not certain.

The letter went on to thank patrons for their loyalty and support over the years.

The Kent County Health Department shut down the restaurant on April 22 after years of uncorrected violations, including food prepped from a bowl that was held in a garbage can, food stored under leaking sewer lines, chicken left at room temperature and a rat that was left on the same spot on the floor between two separate inspections. XO was also fined $6,000 because of the violations.

>>RELATED: XO Asian Cuisine health code violations

In June, XO Asian Cuisine owner Osmond Chan told 24 Hour News 8 that he had made tens of thousands of dollars in improvements to the restaurant. Despite those changes, Chan said he had to cut two-thirds of his staff of more than 30 employees and if that business didn’t come back the restaurant would have to shut down.

“This is not what we set out to do,” said heath department spokesperson Steve Kelso. “We don’t want a restaurant to go out of business. We like to work with restaurants in a partnership.”

The health department received paperwork Tuesday afternoon from the new owners, but was unable to release the new owner’s name at this time.

“They will have to be inspected before they’re able to reopen a restaurant there, so we are getting some of that review and some of that planning in place,” Kelso said.