Saji-Ya turns 40

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For more information: Pat Kallemeyn
October 12, 2019
Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN We’re excited to announce that Saji-Ya Restaurant is celebrating 40 years of serving Japanese food on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul!
When Saji-Ya opened its doors in 1979 offering “country-style Japanese cooking,” it was Saint Paul’s first Japanese restaurant. Founders Tatsuya Saji and Kiminobu Ichikawa, both born in Japan, built out the interior by hand to reflect the flavor of an authentic Japanese neighborhood restaurant. Since that time, Saji-Ya has changed hands a couple of times, but still retains the essence of the Japanese authenticity, uses many of the exact same recipes that were on the very first menu, and continues to be locally owned and operated.
“Our signature salad dressing has been very popular from the start, people just love it!” says co-owner and general manager, Pat Kallemeyn. “We figure we’ve served about 10,000 gallons of it since we opened, and we’ve served more than 2 million guests. That’s really something to celebrate.”
Saji-Ya was the first restaurant in Saint Paul to serve sushi. “I’d say we’ve cut and served about 675,000 pounds of fresh fish since we started serving sushi,” says Kallemeyn.
The official Saji-Ya 40th Anniversary Celebration will run from Sunday, November 10 – Thursday, November 14, and features five days of “back-in-the-day” specials, including:

  • Select Japanese foods from the original menu
  • $1.50 Kirin Beers (1979 prices!)
  • The Saji-Ya Special Cocktail — original recipe version
  • Giveaways, including 40th anniversary pint glasses, headbands, and more – The original shouted welcome greeting as guests arrive
    To find out more about Saji-Ya’s 40th Anniversary Celebration, and to see daily specials and giveaways, visit us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.
    For more information contact Pat Kallemeyn at 651-292-0444 or
    Visit our website at

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