Kitchen Nightmares: The owners from Sushi-Ko are still married all these years later

Kitchen Nightmares: The owners from Sushi-Ko are still married all these years later

It seems like Akira, Lisa, Sammy, Hana and Summer Hatae are still all doing well more than a decade after their beloved Sushi-Ko restaurant closed down.

Sushi-Ko, a small sushi restaurant that was first featured in the third season of Chef Gordon Ramsay’s popular business-rescue show, Kitchen Nightmares, has now become notorious for being one of only a few restaurants from the series which closed before its episode could even air.

Like many of the owners featured on the series throughout the years, the owners of Sushi-Ko Akira and Lisa Hatae, had been struggling to balance keeping their failing business and their family-life separate.

As a result, the entire Hatae family had been drifting apart.

The Hatae family is still doing well

Seeing an entire family struggling because of a failing business is always difficult, but now that it has been more than a decade after this episode aired on television, you may be wondering if the Hatae family managed to pull through despite all of these hardships.

The good news is that it seems like the Hatae family is still going strong today.

Hana Hatae, who viewers of the show will likely remember as the Hataes’ daughter who also worked in the restaurant in a bid to try and help her parents, even recently shared a photo to her Instagram page, of the entire family (except her brother, Sammy) attending a Grateful Dead concert to celebrate her 35th birthday.

Other Kitchen Nightmares restaurants that closed before their episodes aired

At this point, it is no secret that the majority of the restaurants featured on Kitchen Nightmares do not remain open for very long after Ramsay and his crew hit the road.

But there are only a handful of restaurants in the show’s history which have closed down as quickly as Sushi-Ko did.

Some of the other restaurants that closed down before their episodes even aired, include:

Restaurant Original Kitchen Nightmares episode air date
Lela's November 21, 2007
Fiesta Sunrise November 13, 2008
PJ's Steakhouse February 4, 2011
Café Tavolini March 25, 2011
Zocalo March 30, 2012
Chappy’s May 3, 2013
Bella Luna Ristorante May 16, 2014

Other restaurants which were featured on the show and deserve an honorable mention for staying open just long enough for their episodes to air include Burger Kitchen, Black Pearl, Cafe 36, Seascape and a few others.

The real reason why Sushi-Ko closed down so quickly

When Sushi-Ko initially closed down, Sammy explained in a lengthy post on his now-deleted blog, “Somehow business got worse after we filmed it and the center seemed more deserted then it ever has been,” a sentiment that Lisa later reiterated in a 2014 interview with the Pepperdine University Graphic.

She admitted that Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares intervention came just a little too late to truly make a difference.

She admitted that appearing on the show would be “like a big, free commercial.” But ultimately the episode did not even air “until after we had already closed, because you have to film it, then edit, then it has to get into the lineup.”

What John and Lisa Hatae are doing now

Akira and Lisa Hatae have become one of the most beloved married couples featured on Kitchen Nightmares, but it seems like they have moved on from the restaurant business after Sushi-Ko closed down in 2009.

Lisa did share a photo on her personal Instagram account  in 2016, in which it was evident that she was working for a coffee shop called The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, but she has not updated her account since 2021, so there is no telling if this is still accurate.

Lisa also revealed to the Pepperdine University Graphic that Akira had moved on to cosmetics imports after he had struggled to find another job in the restaurant business after Sushi-Ko shut its doors.

What the Hatae kids are doing now that Sushi-Ko has closed down

Although dealing with the aftermath and publicity of appearing on a reality show must have been difficult for the Hatae family, especially in the wake of their beloved family business closing down, it seems like they have all bounced back just fine.

Sammy, Lisa and Akira’s eldest son, is still an active photographer and if the comments which Lisa made to the Ventura County Star in 2010 are anything to go by – the photos that the Kitchen Nightmares producers blew up to decorate the newly remade Sushi-Ko may even still be hanging in the Hatae family home.

Hana works as an interior designer at her design firm, Hana Hatae Design, and Summer just recently celebrated her 26th birthday among her friends and family.