Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Snap-A-Roll sushi announces shutdown with scathing Facebook post

Snap-A-Roll, in Patriot Plaza. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)

Depending who you ask, a sushi restaurant in Williamsburg’s Patriot Plaza is closing— either for good or for just a few weeks.

Snap-A-Roll, an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant that recently turned à la carte, is closed— at least temporarily. A sign on the door Friday at the Richmond Road restaurant stated, “All you can eat coming back soon.”

To announce its closure, Snap-A-Roll’s Facebook page posted a status critical of ownership Wednesday, Oct. 11. The post informed followers the restaurant was closing and the business did not know when it would reopen— and that the owner had “no idea,” either.

“Snap a Roll is now closed for business for maybe 2weeks a few months [sic]. The owner Sam has no idea when he will reopen or anything,” read the post.

The Facebook status continued, criticizing owner Song “Sam” Huang by saying he did not inform employees before closing the store.

“He gave the employees no notice on shutting down (they promised a month noticed [sic]) but that did not come at all.”

The post has since been deleted.

Stephen Greenhow, who said he was the former general manager of Snap-A-Roll, said he posted the status. Greenhow said he was frustrated by a lack of communication and decided to post the status.

“They’re telling me now that they are going to reopen,” Greenhow said, “but I don’t feel confident that they will reopen at all.”

Snap-A-Roll owner Song “Sam” Huang did not return requests for comment. WYDaily made several attempts to contact Huang by phone and social media.

On Friday, a reporter contacted two partner restaurants called Sushi King in Virginia Beach and asked to speak to Huang, who is listed as the registered agent for at least three in-state entities, according to documents on file with the State Corporation Commission.

At one Sushi King location, 1920 Centreville Turnpike, Ken Tian identified himself as the owner and said he bought the restaurant from Huang a few years ago.

At a second location, 879 Lynnhaven Parkway, a man who identified himself only as “David” said he was the manager and took down the reporter’s name and phone number.

Later, a man who identified himself only as a “business partner” of Huang called the reporter but declined to provide his name; the Williamsburg restaurant was temporarily closed for renovations and he wanted to remain anonymous, he said.

In an interview with a second reporter, Huang’s “business partner” said the Williamsburg restaurant would reopen within a few weeks, after wiring for a new iPad-based ordering system and re-decorating was completed. No major construction is anticipated for the location.

As for the closure announcement, the business partner was unfamiliar with Greenhow’s Facebook post. When a reporter read the contents of the post to him, he called Greenhow’s actions defamatory and unprofessional.

“He spread some rumors about us to hurt us in some way which is not professional,” the business partner said of Greenhow. He added he was not aware of the post before his conversation with WYDaily, and that Greenhow was only the “front room manager,” rather than general manager.

However, Greenhow claims he took over GM duties out of necessity, as there was a lack of support from the ownership.

Greenhow said the business started to take a downward turn when it changed its pricing format from all-you-can-eat to pay-per-roll. He said Snap-A-Roll was originally a set price buffet when it opened in June, but Huang raised prices and eventually changed the menu to a la carte in September.

Greenhow said it was at this point when business began to suffer, leading to the decision to close. Huang’s business partner did agree business at Snap-A-Roll had been lagging.

“The community wanted all you can eat,” Greenhow said.

This sign was on the front entrance to Snap a Roll in Patriot Plaza. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)

Editor’s note: WYDaily established the identity of the business partner prior to publication, but he declined to speak on the record. 

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