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Little Tokyo Japanese Steak House is slated for an Oct. 10 foreclosure sale.
SBJ photo by Geoff Pickle
Little Tokyo Japanese Steak House is slated for an Oct. 10 foreclosure sale.

Japanese restaurant scheduled for foreclosure sale

Posted online

Last edited 1:59 p.m., Sept. 25, 2018

A north-side Japanese restaurant is scheduled for an October foreclosure sale.

A $426,000 note has been called for Little Tokyo Japanese Steak House Inc., 2823 N. Glenstone Ave., according to a notice in the Sept. 21 edition of legal-notices publication The Daily Events.

The property is slated for auction at 2 p.m. Oct. 10 at the south front door of the Greene County Courthouse to the highest cash bidder.

The foreclosure sale is related to a deed of trust in the amount of $426,000 issued to Little Tokyo in June 2008 by Citizens National Bank, according to a Greene County recorder filing. In 2010, Empire Bank bought Citizens National Bank after it was hit with a cease-and-desist order in 2009 for “unsafe and unsound” banking practices, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. Empire Bank in 2015 underwent a name change to Central Bank of the Ozarks.

Little Tokyo owners Chi Trieu and Myle Truong this morning said the restaurant is still operational.

Speaking from their restaurant near the Glenstone Avenue and Interstate 44 interchange, the husband and wife said they received a loan to purchase the building 10 years ago in order to stop paying rent and make payments toward ownership. Greene County assessor records show the 0.8-acre property owned by Little Tokyo Japanese Steak House has a 2018 taxable appraised value of $310,200.

The owners acknowledged they’ve had difficulty keeping up with loan payments.

“We lost a lot of money,” Trieu said. “We don’t have a whole lot of business. We cannot pay up what we owe.”

His wife Truong said if the property is sold, Little Tokyo likely would go out of business. Trieu and Truong said they plan to continue operating their other restaurant, New Tokyo, at 1400 W. Sunshine St.

Trieu started Little Tokyo in 2002 at 1635 N. Glenstone Ave. after moving to the United States from Vietnam and working at Springfield’s Nakato restaurant, according to SBJ archives. That property is owned by AJCW LLC and operated by Trieu, according to records on file with the Greene County assessor and Missouri secretary of state.

Greene County court records show a handful of lawsuits related to state tax liens filed against Little Tokyo in the past few years. 

Public records compiled by SBJ show a federal tax lien of $5,312 filed in August against Little Tokyo. A December 2017 federal tax lien in the amount of $23,236 names Trieu and Truong.

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