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What’s going on at the old Tokyo Buffet building on Greenback Lane?

Exterior work can be seen at the former Tokyo Buffet restaurant on Greenback Lane. // CH Sentinel

By Mike Hazlip—
Drivers traveling along Greenback Lane in Citrus Heights have long passed by the vacant, former Tokyo Buffet restaurant which in recent months has seen significant exterior work under way.

City Spokeswoman Marissa Brown said a permit filed with the city by Yummy Buffet also includes new interior work. She said a permit issued Aug. 8 includes window replacement and new stucco finishes, along with interior improvements such as new appliances and equipment for cooking and buffet. Some mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work is also approved for the site, Brown said.

The building has been vacant since the closure of Tokyo Buffet in August of 2019. The Sentinel previously reported the business closed after a kitchen fire damaged the restaurant. Metro Fire Capt. Chris Vestal told The Sentinel at the time the likely cause of that fire was a general failure of the restaurant’s kitchen hood fire extinguishing system. The system was inoperable at the time of the fire, he said.

Another fire damaged the vacant building in May of 2022. Owner Ling Lin told The Sentinel at the time through an interpreter that he was waiting on permits when the incident happened. In a May, 2022 statement to The Sentinel, interpreter Judie Xue said the electricity was shut off at the time of the incident, and she did not know what could have caused the fire. The sprinkler system came on, limiting damage to the kitchen area.

An opening date for the new buffet was not able to be confirmed by The Sentinel.

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