Biwa, the restaurant that introduced Portland to Japanese izakaya dining, is closing permanently this week, owners Gabe Rosen and Kina Voelz announced via their newsletter today. Eater PDX first reported the news.

"On Saturday June 9th Biwa, our strange little monster, is closing after dinner service at 10:00…," they wrote. "But, you know, forever…"

Opened in 2007, in a subterranean space at Southeast 9th Avenue and Ash Street, Biwa swiftly became a sensation in the Portland dining scene, hailed for its ramen, happy-hour burger and tavern-style atmosphere.

(Hilary Sander)
(Hilary Sander)

Rosen and Voelz did not offer a reason for the restaurant's closure, but they have spent the last few years tinkering with Biwa's format. In 2016, they effectively split the business in half, moving the restaurant into a different space in the same building and rechristening the old spot as a bar called Parasol. It recombined a year later. Earlier this year, they began offering counter service and a bento-focused lunch menu.

Noraneko, Biwa's sister restaurant in Industrial Southeast, will remain open.

Read the full announcement of Biwa's closure—which includes a tribute to the recently departed Cafe Castagna—here.