When I first met my ex-husband, Jeff, he and his friends had been going to Kiku’s for several years. They were not only good patrons of Kiku’s, but also dear friends. I loved the place, the food and Sho and Ruth from the first visit.
We would take Brittany when we were dating and she was not ever crazy about men, but fell for Sho immediately. He would say LIMONNNNNNN SHEEKON to her and she would giggle hysterically. They have these small wood boxes that they let their favorite customers write on and then they put them up on a shelf for display. Ours is still there. That was in 1988. The marriage didn’t last, but our box did.
Once moved to Tennessee we bought my beloved chow chow puppy and I promptly named her Kiku.
This was a time before sushi bars had become so popular. Sho and Ruth were the owners back then. I found out the other day that Ruth died a year ago, but had left the restaurant 10 years ago. They had been divorced for several years before I began going, but were still good friends and had no problem running the place together. Sho remarried 10 yrs ago.
I had hoped that I would have the opportunity to go by the place, but had kind of thought this was not going to have the time. Well as luck has had it I did.
We, Melina and I, walked in and I went straight to talk to Sho. I asked him if he remembered me. It took him a moment, but as soon as I mentioned Jeff he knew right away. He came to our wedding and to many other of Jeff’s friends back in the 80s. He asked me about my “little girl”. And was a bit amazed by the news flash that she is now 25 and no longer little. We reminisced about the guys and he wanted me to tell Jeff he misses him.
He has always brought such a warm smile to my face. He is exactly the same except for his hair is completely white now. The place looks and feels the same. Like coming home.
Next post: 4th of July in downtown HB…