Van Shabu, one of Dorchester's go-to eateries with a focus on hot pot, sushi and ramen, has closed its doors after eight years in business on Dot Ave, according to co-owner Karen Diep. The family-owned bar and restaurant near Savin Hill Avenue combined Asian fusion cuisine with cocktails and was on the vanguard of what has become a vibrant food scene up and down Dot's main thoroughfare.
A recording on the business' telephone line today informed customers of the news.
Diep told the Reporter today that she and her husband and business partner Mateo Van made the "difficult decision" to close Van Shabu to pursue an emerging business venture with Simon Malls. The couple already runs the Noodle Station in South Shore Plaza and has agreed to open a new location with the same concept at Burlington Mall, which Simon Malls also owns. The Burlington location will open in November.
Diep says that the current plan is to leave the Van Shabu space fallow for now while the family ramps up for the new mall venture.
"We are very comfortable leaving it empty for now and seeing how this new venture works out," Diep told the Reporter, who said that all of the equipment in the recently renovated Van Shabu space will stay intact. "We don't want to lease it to another restaurant. And if this doesn't work out, we will still have Van Shabu. It's very hard— and it's heartbreaking really, but we needed to take a step back."
The majority of employees from Van Shabu will be working in the mall-based businesses, Diep said.