Rangetsu, the Japanese restaurant and sushi bar that has been a prominent fixture on International Drive since 1986, will close at the end of the month. General manager Takashi Kikuchi told me that the economy was a deciding factor. “We used to get big parties,” said Kikuchi, “but conventions are down, Japanese tourists are down, and we have too many employees.”
He said the building was under contract to be sold, but could not give any details about the prospective buyers. The current owner, according to Kikuchi, is in Japan. He also couldn’t say what will happen to the many koi in the ponds in front of the restaurant, although he was certain they would be cared for.
Rangetsu, which was spelled with a hyphen for many years and whose name means orchid moon, has 350 seats and a staff of 40. The last day will be March 31.