Tamiko, who runs two other Muracci's in the Bay Area with her husband Yasuyuki, said the lease for the 244 State St. space expired, and the landlord didn't offer the opportunity for renewal.
"We couldn't get the new lease," she said. She said the landlord didn't give a reason, but she assumed it's due to the rising value of Los Altos real estate.
Muracci's Japanese Curry & Grill is closing after four years on State Street in downtown Los Altos.
The Muratas opened their first Muracci's (their son's nickname) in San Francisco in the early 2000s after moving to the Bay Area from their native Osaka, Japan. The San Francisco spot was small and mostly take-out; State Street was their first full-service restaurant. They opened Muracci's 2 in Los Altos four years ago and just two months ago, Muracci's 3 in Berkeley.
"I'm really sad because now the customers are like a family," Tamiko said of the Los Altos patrons. She said it took time to develop that customer base and that the sudden news about their lease in Los Altos makes things difficult in Berkeley, where the nascent restaurant is still training employees and getting settled.
But, she said, in the future, "maybe, I hope, we going to come back to Los Altos."
Muracci's katsu curry, a pork cutlet served with rice and curry sauce. Photo by Michelle Le.