CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- Kona Grill at Chandler Fashion Center has closed.
The restaurant that specializes in sushi was located on the south end of the mall near the food court.
A woman who worked at the restaurant called Arizona’s Family on Monday morning and said the move was unexpected.
“I’m supposed to be on the clock right now,” said Jennifer Morton, a server at Kona Grill.
But she isn't. Nobody is.
Employees told us at the end of Sunday night's shift, a district manager came to the restaurant and shocked everyone.
“The C.O. came in and basically said you’re all terminated as of now. We’re closing the store. And that was it,” said Morton. “They were pulling the fish out of the fish tanks, they were pulling the computer systems and walking them out, and they asked everybody to leave.”
Morton said the GM and all of their managers had no idea this was coming.
Evan Pokorney was the manager working when this happened and said he was blindsided, then was left to tell everyone else.
“Closed the door and let me know that they’re closing down the location immediately and that they have to turn in the keys by the morning,” he said, when the district manager came in. “I got on the phone in the car and started calling employees and letting them know as well that…that we’re all out of jobs.”
Pokorney said he was told this has to do with lease negotiations with the mall, but was never told negotiations were even in the works.
Morton and Pokorney said with no severance offered, they're now strapped to provide for their families, as are so many others.
“About 28 servers, about seven to eight hostesses, you’ve got three managers that (sic) work there, and an entire kitchen staff. It affects everybody,” said Morton. “This is our income, this is how we put food on the table.”
The location is no longer listed as an Arizona location on konagrill.com. The restaurant still has three locations in the East Valley: San Tan Mall, Scottsdale Quarter and Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall.
Chandler Fashion Center confirmed the closure to Arizona’s Family on Monday but did not provide any other details. Kona Grill has not released a statement.
Sir Veza’s recently closed in the same area of the mall.
Chandler Fashion Center is located near Loop 101 and Chandler Boulevard.