Downtown Austin ramen shop closes after 7 years due to COVID-19 crisis

Daruma Ramen has served out his last bowl of ramen. On Wednesday June 17, the owners of Daruma announced that they were closing the downtown restaurant for good due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“We’d like to thank the community for their tireless support for our chicken broth ramen over the past 7 years,” said co-owner Kayo Asazu in an email to CultureMap. “Unfortunately, it is time we moved to greener pastures. Due to COVID-19, Daruma Ramen will not reopen. This was a very difficult decision, but we know it is the right one.”

Daruma Ramen operated out of a cozy shop on East Sixth Street before the coronavirus pandemic forced it to temporarily close. The company then moved to the sister restaurant Komé Sushi Kitchen on Airport Boulevard, which Asazu and her husband Takehiro Asazu also own. Asazu says Komé will continue to offer the ramen as part of its menu.

What set Daruma apart from the rest of the ramen pack was the use of chicken broth instead of traditional pork. Add to this the quiet, intimate atmosphere of the restaurant amid the chaos of Sixth Street. A quick sip makes for a truly unique Austin experience.

Daruma joins a growing list of Austin staple restaurants that have closed in recent months, including Magnolia Cafe in Tarrytown, Threadgill’s, Blue Dahlia Cafe in East Austin, and more. There were some bright spots, however, like Enchiladas y Mas, which closed only to be revived a few weeks later by the nieces of the original owner.

Like Enchiladas y Mas and other Austin restaurants that are forced to close in these unprecedented economic times, Asazu remains confident that Daruma may return one day.

“We hope to move Daruma Ramen at some point in the future, when it is safe and healthy,” continued Asazu. “Until then, Kome Sushi Kitchen will continue the legacy of our chicken broth ramen and continue serving it on their contactless curb. Thank you Austin. See you later.”

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