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Fuji, the Haddonfield sushi destination, changes hands

They did not go far to find a buyer for the BYOB.

At the stroke of midnight New Year's Eve, Masaharu "Matt" Ito and his son, Jesse, sold Fuji, their Haddonfield Japanese destination, which sits at or near the top of many publications' "best sushi" list.

They did not go far to find a buyer for the BYOB. He is Chen Zheng, their sushi chef of 20 years. He plans no changes. In fact, Matt Ito will remain at the restaurant for some time to help with the transition.

Matt Ito, 63, is just tired and needs to take some time off, Jesse Ito said. Allowing his son to continue solo was not an option. "That's my dad's restaurant," Jesse Ito said.

A native of Oita Prefecture on Kyushu, Matt Ito came to America in 1976. After working in the kitchen at Sagami in Collingswood, he opened Fuji up the road in Cinnaminson in 1979. Japanese restaurants were few and far between back then.

A major construction project - senior housing - uprooted Fuji from its spot in Cinnaminson in 2007, and the father and son relocated to downtown Haddonfield. (See this 2011 backgrounder by Craig LaBan.)

I suspect we have not seen the last of them.