It’s a one-picture-says-it-all type of story, but it appears that a new Japanese buffet is scheduled to open in the Greenbrier Shopping Center in Bel Air—next door to the site of a Chinese buffet that went out of business last year.
The new business, which the banner seen below advertises as Hachi’s Japanese Buffet, will open in the former location of a Blockbuster video, where the only food served was packaged candy and popcorn. Meanwhile, the former home of the Star Buffet next door lies dark and empty, as it has for months.
A sign posted on the door of the Star Buffet shortly after it closed its doors indicated that the business owed more than $30,000 in costs. As of late last week that notice was long gone and the amount, the parties to whom the money was owed or any other reason for the restaurant’s closure could not be confirmed.
It’s unclear why someone would choose to spend good money to convert a former video store into an Asian buffet when there appears to be a perfectly good, unused Asian buffet right next door. The leasing agent with Kimco Realty whose name and contact information appear on a sign at the shopping center did not return several calls for comment.
It’s possible that the new restaurant will somehow carve into the space of the old and utilize its kitchen facilities. Or, the new restaurant might take over the footprint of both the former Blockbuster suite and the Star Queen space. Renovation permits posted outside the soon-to-be home of Hachi’s indicated that work had been approved for the 225 Brierhill Dr. Suite A—the old Blockbuster space—but no such permits were posted outside Suite B, the former Star Queen Buffet.
“I guess it has a different model, different management,” Harford County Economic Development Director Jim Richardson said. “I thought the other one [Star Buffet]…was successful, but you never know.”
Perhaps it’s just one more mystery of the Orient—unless someone out there knows the answer?