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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Destroyed by fire, Shogun Restaurant to be rebuilt in Spokane Valley

Joseph Lee, owner of the Shogun Japanese Steak and Seafood House plans to rebuild after a fire destroyed the long-time restaurant early last Sunday morning. Plans for a new Shogun Restaurant in Spokane Valley are underway. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

When Shogun Restaurant in East Spokane was destroyed by a fire earlier this year, owner Joseph Lee was determined to rebuild.

And Lee is doing just that, this time in Spokane Valley.

The new Shogun Restaurant will be located at 20 N. Raymond Road, the former site of The Roadhouse Bar & Grill.

Lee said Shogun’s original home was in the Valley before previous owners, the Hwang family, moved the restaurant to Spokane.

“People said, ‘Come back to the Valley again,’ ” Lee said.

Mark Latham of Post Falls-based ML Architect & Associates, Inc. is in charge of the new restaurant’s design. He said the 8,000-square-foot building will retain the vibe of its predecessor, with Japanese-style interior and accents surrounding the exterior entryway.

“We want it really to look like the old Shogun,” he said.

Plans for the restaurant include a lounge and sushi counter, as well as 14 teppanyaki tables with seating for eight people and the option to section off areas with shoji screens.

The restaurant will also feature a “Samurai Room” for corporate parties and groups, as well as a Japanese garden with a waterfall, bamboo bridge and pond.

Lee has retained five chefs from the previous restaurant to maintain the same menu, with plans to create a new menu for lunch.

He said he’ll also continue the restaurant’s popular gong shows, and is purchasing a grand piano for live music, which will be placed on what was once a stage area at The Roadhouse.

Starting over, but not from scratch

Lee operated Shogun in East Spokane for more than 15 years. The hibachi steak and seafood restaurant became a go-to spot for birthdays, graduations and anniversary celebrations, with a dining experience “that is part theater and part high-quality chefsmanship,” according to a 2004 Spokesman Review article.

When Shogun burned down in April, Lee was devastated.

“I was so sad and surprised at the same time,” he said. “But I thought it could be a good time to have a new restaurant.”

The cause of the fire was undetermined, according to the Spokane Fire Department.

The damaged building has since been demolished and the land – along with an adjacent storage facility – have been listed for sale.

The storage facility, at 905 E. 3rd Ave., was purchased by Lee in 2010. It sustained damage when water from extinguishing the fire seeped into the building and damaged renters’ belongings in the units.

The city of Spokane filed a lawsuit against Lee in July, requesting the storage facility to be vacated and shut down. The lawsuit cited the building drew criminals who were living in the units and causing issues for several years.

Spokane Assistant City Attorney Matt Folsom told the Spokesman Review in July that the city is working with Lee to sell the property and if new owners are found, they won’t be seeking financial damages.

Lee purchased the former Roadhouse site on Oct. 2 for $700,000 from M3K, LLC., according to the Spokane County Assessor’s Office.

Lee said rebuilding Shogun at its previous site would have taken more than two years. But by purchasing the former Roadhouse building in the Valley, it cuts construction down to months.

Shogun is expected to reopen Feb. 4, he said.

“A new building saves time and I can keep my key employees,” he said. “I’m so lucky to have this place. I like the Valley area.”