After 40 years, the final Anna Miller’s cafe in Japan is closing down.

In 1973, Japanese confectionary company Imuraya opened Japan’s first branch of Anna Miller’s. Though the restaurant had started out in Hawaii, it really took off in the Tokyo area, expanding to 25 different locations serving American-style cafe fare and a mouthwatering lineup of pies.

Now, 40 years later, there’s only one Anna Miller’s left in Japan, and it’s just announce that it’s closing.

▼ The first Japanese Anna Miller’s, located in Tokyo’s Aoyama neighborhood

Zoom in on the above photo, and you’ll see that the sign at the entrance says “Wait for your waitress.” Odds are it was put there to avoid confusion, since although many casual restaurants in Japan allow customers to just come on in and claim any unoccupied table, Anna Miller’s followed the American style of having servers guide customers to a seat. The mention of a waitress is fitting, though, because as loved as Anna Miller’s pies are among fans, the restaurant is just as well-known for its iconic waitress uniforms, which have appeared as homages and parodies in numerous anime, manga, and video game series.

▼ An Anna Miller’s waitress at the Tokyo Takanawa branch

On Tuesday, Imuraya announced that its last remaining Anna Miller’s branch, located in Tokyo’s Takanawa neighborhood, will be permanently closing this summer. The cafe is located inside the Wing Takanawa shopping center, but the complex is scheduled to be demolished as part of a redevelopment project and the tenant businesses are being asked to vacate. Imuraya has no current concrete plans to reopen Anna Miller’s elsewhere, saying that it has been searching for a location as attractive as Wing Takanawa, where it’s been since 1983. That’s going to be tough to find, seeing as how the shopping center is located directly across the street from the entrance to Shinagawa Station, one of the most heavily trafficked train stations in Tokyo, and is even in a spot where pedestrians can easily see the restaurant from outside the complex at street-level.

So it’s looking like August 31, the last day the Takanawa branch will be open, will also probably be the last day for the Anna Miller’s chain in Japan, a prospect that’s filled Japanese Twitter users with sadness, as shown by reactions such as:

“Say it aint so!”
“Seriously hoping you can reopen somewhere else!”
“Anna Miller’s forever!”
“Gonna go as often as I can while they’re still open.”
“I used to go to their [Yokohama] branch when I worked nearby, and when I clocked out early I’d buy three slices of pie, take them home, and eat them all myself.”
“I ordered their dark cherry pie every time I are there.”
“Thank you for everything over all the years.”

Reflecting the soft spot for the chain in the otaku community, several people also took this opportunity to share Anna Miller’s-inspired fan art.

For those looking to enjoy one last meal at the cafe, the Takanawa Anna Miller’s will be featuring a rotating lineup of popular flavors from yesteryear, with the coconut custard pie, pictured below, the first to make a menu comeback.

The Takanawa closure will make the Anna Miller’s in Aiea, Hawaii, the last restaurant in the world to bear the name, but since it’s a separate company from the Imuraya-managed Japanese chain, this really is the end of an era. There is a bit of a silver lining, though, in that Imuraya is looking into continuing the brand’s dessert legacy by selling Anna Miller’s pies online in the future, and considering how Imuraya has done with other store-sold sweets, we’ve got high expectations.

As for the uniforms, fans will just have to pull up some fan art to look at before they eat their online-purchased pies.

Source: PR Times, Imuraya, Twitter/@IMURAYA_DM
Images: PR Times
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!