The popular Rascals Teriyaki Grill near Cal State Long Beach will soon be closed as owners prepare for a long-planned move to Carson, according to Phil Kiyokane, one of the South Bay chain’s owners.

Patrons have filed into the location near the corner of Bellflower Boulevard and Atherton Street for 17 years to fill up on teriyaki bowls and the chain’s beloved Chinese chicken salad.

However, the location could close as soon as next month, Kiyokane said, depending on when the new location near Carson Park (the park in Carson—not to be confused with the East Long Beach neighborhood) is ready to open. The original plan was to close the location at the end of June.

“I was trying to do it simultaneously so (employees) can move over—we can keep them employed and working,” Kiokane said, noting that he has a lot of long-time workers at the Long Beach location.

The first Rascals location opened in Gardena in 1987 as Phil and his brother Wayne partnered to launch the fast-casual joint that has served teriyaki chicken, beef and curry to the South Bay for nearly 40 years.

The new location in Carson has been in the works since 2019 as Kiyokane sought a new spot after the YMCA in Long Beach told him it was looking to expand.

Two signs for a restaurant and YMCA facility.
After 17 years next door to the Los Altos Family YMCA on Bellflower Boulevard near Cal State Long Beach, Rascals Teriyaki Grill is slated to close in early July. Friday, June 2, 2023. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

The Los Altos Family YMCA is located next door to Rascals, and its website shows a proposal for a new two-story, 25,000-square-foot fitness facility the organization wants to build next to its Bellflower Boulevard location. The facility could have a renovated pool, rooms for group activities and fitness classes and a child watch center, according to the site.

Kiyokane said the YMCA has worked with Rascals as it started seeking permits to build out the new location almost four years ago, but it’s taken longer than expected to complete.

Construction was held up by the pandemic, and then there were issues with the soil that needed to be remediated. Now, he’s working to get all the utilities connected, he said.

“We were looking all over Long Beach, in Lakewood for a new location, but this one is closer to our other shops,” Kiyokane said.

As the last few weeks of operations of the Long Beach location wind down, Kiyokane said there is an element of sadness. Many of the employees and his general manager have gotten to know customers who frequented the location. Now those regulars will have to drive to Carson, Gardena or Torrance to get a “Teri Plate” or “Teri Burger.”

“It’s been a good 17 years,” Kiyokane said.

The new Rascals Teriyaki Grill will be located at 205 E. Carson St., Carson.

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Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.