An unfortunate part of working in the restaurant industry is having to work almost every day of the week, and when you’re the owner, it’s a rarity that you’ll get a day off. You’re lucky if you can make it to any anniversaries, parties, or other get-togethers. But Genji Sato, owner and chef of Sasabune in Glendale, California, decided to close his restaurant yesterday so that he could take his son to Legoland for his seventh birthday. The Instagram post notifying customers of the closure was a big hit with Glendale residents and the broader internet alike, reports Today.
The sign reads, “We will be closed 2/28 Monday. Due to the chef takes his son to LEGOLAND for son’s 7th birthday.”
Speaking to Today, Sato said that he and his wife began the tradition on his son Daiki’s fourth birthday.
“My son picked Legoland,” Sato explained. Every year he’s posted the notification that the restaurant is closed for his son’s birthday celebration, it’s been met with positive reception. Hey, birthdays are a big deal. This year’s Legoland trip was a belated celebration, however. Daiki’s birthday was actually in October, and unfortunately, Sato didn’t have the time to celebrate properly back then.
“It was busy for me so I didn’t have the time,” Sato said. But the family spent yesterday joyfully at Legoland, where they rode go-karts and hung out at the playground. It was the family’s first back to the theme park since the pandemic began, which probably made it all the more fun.
“It’s good to be with family,” Sato told Today. Throughout my five years working in a restaurant, I missed out on so many birthdays (including my own), as well as weddings and holidays. That’s precious time I can’t get back, and something I feel like I’m still paying for years later. It’s good to see a restaurant owner who’s able to prioritize time with his family; hopefully he’ll be able to continue doing so in the years to come.