Shalala Ramen's last day at 698 W. Dana St. will be this Monday, Oct. 26.
Shalala Ramen, which opened in 2010, is leaving downtown Mountain View. Photo courtesy Shalala Ramen.
Iwahashi said he had thought about leaving Mountain View before but the decision was accelerated by the impact of the pandemic. Shalala's sales are still down 50%. With only two outdoor tables, he's had to sustain the business mostly on takeout while competing with other downtown restaurants that have more outdoor seating. He said his landlord deferred rent for two months, but staying afloat was still a challenge,
"I'm looking at the future, that the coronavirus is going to be (here for) a couple more years. That's why I want to do something new," Iwahashi said.
His new venture, called Fugetsu, will sell packaged Japanese food, such as bento boxes, onigiri, okonomiyaki and kushikatsu. There will be no restaurant service; it will instead operate as a pickup operation.
Fugetsu is opening at the Saratoga Avenue shopping center that also houses the Japanese Mitsuwa Marketplace. Iwahashi hopes to open in November.
Shalala is not the only closure in downtown Mountain View. Flights on Castro Street has closed permanently, owner Alex Hult confirmed. The closure followed Hult's Mountain View landlord suing him this summer for back-rent payments. The lawsuit has since been settled, Hult said.
HeyOEats, which served vegan fare inside Ava's Downtown Market & Deli, is also no more, a market employee confirmed.
Editor's note: This story was updated to correct the fact that Iwahashi's landlord did defer his rent for two months.