House of Kobe rises from ashes

February 22, 1997


Staff Writer

The popular House of Kobe Japanese restaurant is reopening on Thursday in its original location - the Dagmar Hotel in downtown Hagerstown, said Massy Hirai, the restaurant's owner.

"We just keep going," Hirai said on Friday.

The restaurant's 757 Dual Highway location was destroyed by arson on Jan. 25. Hirai had been searching for a place to relocate until the restaurant could be rebuilt on Dual Highway.

Hirai said he was grateful for the invitation from the hotel's owner, Hilton Smith, to temporarily relocate in the Dagmar.

The House of Kobe first opened in the Dagmar in November 1981, then moved to its larger Dual Highway location in 1985.


Hirai said he had received many phone calls from customers asking when and where the restaurant would reopen. Hirai also has a House of Kobe in Frederick.

By reopening so quickly, Hirai said he will be able to bring back the six to seven employees who worked at the Dual Highway location.

The Dagmar, at the corner of Summit Avenue and West Antietam Street, has the space and kitchen equipment needed, he said. The restaurant will move in next to Farm Fresh Meats on the West Antietam Street side.

Hirai has applied to the Washington County Board of License Commissioners to transfer his beer, wine and liquor license to the Dagmar. The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

The restaurant's hours will be from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday for lunch; from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday through Thursday for dinner; and from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The restaurant will be closed on Sundays.

House of Kobe will continue to use the same phone numbers - 797-6979 or 790-1856.

The destruction caused by the fire at the Dual Highway location was estimated at $400,000, Hirai said.

The Brethren Mutual Insurance Co. is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the responsible person. A reward also is being offered by the Arson Control Association of Maryland.

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