"Due to recent complications caused by the COVID-19 crisis we regret to inform you that Maum operations will be put on hold until further notice," reads a newsletter the restaurant sent out on Wednesday. "However, this is not to say 'farewell' but 'see you soon' as we are cooking up alternative ways to return to our community."
The communal dining table inside Maum at 322 University Ave. in Palo Alto. Photo courtesy Thomas Kuoh Photography.
The announcement comes two weeks after the Michelin-starred University Avenue restaurant and its co-chefs, Michael and Meichih Kim, suddenly decided to "part ways."
Charles Chen, a consultant with Maum, said at the time that the future of this kind of restaurant — which pre-pandemic earned accolades for meticulous, modern Korean tasting menus served in an intimate setting — remained uncertain. Maum closed at the start of the pandemic, briefly reopened for takeout and then tried to pivot to retail and offering kitchen space to local bakers in recent weeks.
The owners of Maum, Brian and Grace Koo, are not alone in their decision to close up shop temporarily in the face of the disruption brought on by the pandemic. The owners of Vina Enoteca in Palo Alto, Nam Vietnamese Brasserie in Redwood City, The Mountain House in Woodside and MacArthur Park in Palo Alto (which recently resumed takeout only but won't reopen for dine-in service until 2021) have done the same.