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Staff report

Ramen fans who wanted to eat in downtown San Juan Capistrano will have to find another spot, because Ramen Shack has closed.

The restaurant, which opened at Capistrano Plaza in September 2021, closed on July 30 of this year. Owner and chef Keizo Shimamoto announced the closure beforehand on Instagram.

“In order to focus strictly on my health, I have asked my partners to release me from my contract,” Shimamoto said. “In doing so, we collectively decided to rebrand as a new concept within the same space, and I will forgo any stake in the partnership, effective immediately.”

Chef Keizo Shimamoto has opted to close his restaurant, Ramen Shack, due to health issues. The restaurant was open less than a year in downtown San Juan Capistrano. Photo: Collin Breaux

While he did not elaborate on the health issues in the post, an article by L.A. Eater said Shimamoto has been experiencing chest pains and that medical tests determined the issue was in his lung. He is waiting on a further diagnosis.

Shimamoto did not respond to a request for comment from The Capistrano Dispatch.

Ramen Shack also faced staffing issues throughout 2022, an ordeal that other businesses have encountered. Those issues, along with concerns about the COVID-19 Omicron variant, led to restaurant closures on some days.

“As always, a very important thank you to my friends and family for continuing to support my dreams,” Shimamoto said in the social media post. “I realize that this decision affects more than just me, and I’d like to apologize to the entire family of staff that helped build Ramen Shack San Juan Capistrano both past and present.”

Readers voted for Ramen Shack as the best new restaurant in the 2021 Best of San Juan Capistrano “People’s Choice Horseshoe Awards” published by The Capistrano Dispatch.

Orange County Register reports the space will be taken over by Breezy, a Filipino-inspired breakfast restaurant.

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comments (1)

  • I walk by that restaurant quite often.
    I rarely saw any customer in there.
    All businesses in town are either closing or struggling (with fewer customers) to survive, starting the business is even harder, nearly impossible,
    Give the guy a credit.
    He tried.

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