Yamabuki To Close April 11th

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According to the OC Register’s Around Disney blog, the Yamabuki Restaurant inside the Paradise Pier Hotel will soon be closing:

Disney officials announced Thursday afternoon that Yamabuki restaurant, inside the Paradise Pier Hotel will close down  April 11.

Some 39 hourly employees who work at the restaurant were informed of the pending closure during a closed-door meeting around 4 p.m. Thursday.

Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown said the company will work to relocate the employees to other park restaurants. Those who cannot be placed elsewhere will receive at least 60 days pay as severance and  an extension of some health care benefits.

A “handful” of salaried managers could either be relocated or lose their jobs, as well, Brown said.

“The concept of the restaurant no longer resonates with our guests,” Brown said.  The closure was not related to other layoffs and staff re-organizations related to the sagging economy, she added.

“We continuously evaluate all of our concepts and listen to what our guests are telling us,” Brown said. ”We’ve scaled back the hours at this restaurant since the beginning of the year. Other restaurants at the Resort are doing quite well.”

The upscale  restaurant at 1717 S. Disneyland Dr., originally opened in 1996 with a lunch and dinner menu. Meals averaged $20 to $30 per diner. The restaurant shortened its hours and discontinued its lunch menu within the last year.

Restaurant hours will remain as normal until the April 11 closure.

A now former employee of the restaurant, Kumiko Swearingen, worries about her future:

Kumiko Swearingen, 51, of Irvine is one of the 39 employees who  — for now – won’t have a job after Disney closes the Yamabuki restaurant in the Paradise Pier Hotel.

“The main thing everyone is worrying about is medical benefits,” Swearingen said in a phone interview today.

“How are you going to pay for rent and health insurance? One girl I talked to lives by herself — she doesn’t make that much money and she has her bills.

“It’s going to be very tough for everybody.”

Swearingen said Disneyland Hotels VP Tony Bruno called up each employee to let them know the restaurant was closed for lunch and would close completely April 11.

“I want to stay with Disney, but I don’t know if they can offer other jobs,” Swearingen said.

Disney officals yesterday said they would try to place employees in other jobs around the resort.

Meanwhile, Swearingen is waiting for a call from Disney management to see if she can get a job somewhere else.

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