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.

[WATCH: Employees shocked by Kona Grill in Chandler closing]

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 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. 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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(17) comments


Any management or kitchen staff looking for employment? Please send your resume to
We have 3 concepts looking for management staff and we could always use good cooks.


Anyone who works for a publicly-traded company like Kona Grill should be responsible enough to follow what’s going on with the company. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to have come to the obvious conclusion a while ago that Kona Grill is headed for bankruptcy in the near-term thanks to the utter incompetence of Berke Bakay, current CEO Christi Hing and the company’s Board of Directors. The stock price has plummeted to $0.60 from over $20. Hong is the company’s 5th CEO in less than a year.


Not sure what "MyOwnMind" is talking about. Jennifer Morton said they heard about it on Sunday and she's supposed to be on the clock 'now.' That wasn't hard to follow. Kona Grill should've done something to warn the staff sooner.


Sounds like Jennifer Morton is a lying POS. Which is it? They came in Sunday and shut you down or you came in Monday and discovered it was shut down? I wouldn't eat Sushi, let alone Sushi served by a bunch of senseless jerks.


And you probably haven't eaten anything green..ever. Have fun with your Vienna sausage-induced colon cancer.


"Blind sighted"........Blindsided is the term I believe your aiming for

Michael A

The High Street Kona location closed down the same way. There was a sign on the door that said sorry there's a problem with the kitchen. Then a week later, it said permanently closed.


I am an employee there. There was no notice to anyone. To have a company do this is just wrong. No warning, no Severance, no common decency. It's heartbreaking.


Same thing happened to me a few years ago. the big difference is the company did not close. I was replaced by Indians who were no good at the job, but they were paid less. Cost me over $1 million is base pay.


$1,000,000 base pay, you had to have some good savings or did you just waste OVER $1,000,000 a year?


Precisely. It cost him nothing.


You cannot read can you? That much over 20 YEARS


who cares. this is the world you created sun city moron.


Oh please. You're not a millionaire. That's laughable. Give me a fuggin' break.


I thought you said you worked at Walmart. lol


Nowhere in your post did you mention "20 years", dumbass.


boo hoo. Welcome to the real world snowflake.

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