WEST HOLLYWOOD—A popular Japanese restaurant, called Izakaya Aburiya Raku, which is an offshoot of a location in Las Vegas, Nevada, is closing its doors after only five years of being in operation.

Located at 521 N La Cienega Blvd, the restaurant opened in 2015, and received good reviews and distinction from not only diners, who ate there, but also food critics, alike. It was even awarded a Bib Gourmand in the 2019 Michelin Guide, which highlights various restaurants that are “exceptionally good food at moderate prices.”

It appears establishments, like Izakaya Aburiya Raku, became a casualty of the Coronavirus pandemic, which has affected countless businesses in Los Angeles County.  According to Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the County’s public health director, up to 15 percent of cases in the county are coming from restaurants.

In a Friday, October 30 press conference, Dr. Ferrer explained further “This makes sense, because when people go to restaurants and bars they often spend a prolonged period of time in the presence of others who are outside of their household without their face coverings, and often engaged in conversations. Those are all strategies for increasing the spread of COVID-19.”

On La Cienega Blvd, which is considered Restaurant Row, a lot of restaurants in the vicinity have suffered the same fate, with a lot of the establishments mostly remaining inoperative, even deciding to switch over to ghost kitchens, just to remain in business.

A new concept is already being chosen for the location, as the new restaurant will be called Gozen Japanese Sake Bistro. They will be known more for their draft sake drinks, which is considered a much different concept than its predecessor.