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After 40 yrs, Anna Miller's to close last store in Japan in August

The Anna Miller's Takanawa branch is seen in this image provided by Imuraya Group Co.

TOKYO -- The last active Anna Miller's, a restaurant chain serving American food and pies, will close on Aug. 31, the chain's parent corporation announced on June 14.

    The closing of the Takanawa branch in the capital's Minato Ward was decided upon a request from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to relocate due to a redevelopment project around Shinagawa Station's west exit area.

    Anna Miller's opened its first Japan store in Tokyo's Minami Aoyama district in June 1973. The chain gained popularity thanks to its unique pies made with textured dough and rich custard, which were rare in Japan at the time, and free coffee refills.

    Stores continued to open in areas popular among young people -- such as Jiyugaoka, Meguro, Kichijoji and Shimokitazawa in the capital -- and 21 restaurants were operating at its peak in 1995. Anna Miller's was able to open a total of 25 stores over the years. However, due to changes in people's lifestyles and other reasons, the Takanawa branch is the only one remaining.

    The Takanawa branch was reportedly thriving as it was situated in a good location. Imuraya Group Co., the chain's parent corporation, based in the Mie Prefecture city of Tsu, is looking for a different location where the shop can attract around the same number of customers, but it has not been decided whether it will open a new Anna Miller's. Despite the setback, Anna Miller's pies and cheesecakes, which are apparently loved by many fans across the country, will continue to be sold via an online shop.

    (Japanese original by Hiroki Masuda, Digital News Center)

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