Sad news. Trail-blazing restaurant Hapa Izakaya on Robson Street is no more. Citing the “enormous” rent as the root cause of their exit from the West End, owners, Justin & Lea Ault sent out this missive yesterday, the morning after the restaurant’s last service:
It comes with a heavy heart that we announce that Hapa Izakaya on Robson Street is closed effective Tuesday, June 7th. The restaurant industry is a challenging one. While we gave it our all, in the end, the enormous rent made it impossible to sustain our business at Hapa Robson. We had a wonderful thirteen and a half years which was full of rich and rewarding experiences. Shutting down a restaurant (or having it shut down for you) is a huge kick in the gut. However, when we think of the amazing people who have worked with us over the years (and those that continue to), we’re awestruck by not only the sheer number of staff we’ve had but their qualities as people. I (Justin) went from being an “older brother” to my staff to somehow becoming “Dad”. How did THAT happen?! I guess thirteen years is the answer…
We can’t thank our loyal guests enough. Without you making that decision to join us for dinner and not only spend your hard earned money but as importantly, your time – we wouldn’t have lasted this long. It was truly wonderful becoming part of the fabric of your lives. To witness a couple’s first date, courtship, marriage proposal (and acceptance!) and then meeting their newborn is something you can’t manufacture or plan for. We’ve been blessed to have witnessed these experiences on more than a few occasions and while it sucks to be saying good bye to the physical structure that is Hapa Robson, in the end, it’s just walls and objects. The memories and experiences are what remain and we will always cherish them.
The good news is that those memories and experiences are still being made at Hapa Yaletown and Hapa Coal Harbour (not to mention Hapa Calgary and Toronto). While we’ll miss seeing you at our original location, we look forward to hosting you at our other Hapa locations very soon.