Crane & Turtle to close in April, Ruppert thinking of what's to come

Chef Makoto Hamamura (Photo courtesy  Crane & Turtle Facebook page )

Chef Makoto Hamamura (Photo courtesy Crane & Turtle Facebook page)

According to Paul Ruppert, the critically (and customer) acclaimed Crane & Turtle restaurant (828 Upshur St NW) is planning to close on April 24th.  

Chef Makoto Hamamura and his wife Katy Kinch are moving to NYC to be closer to family, while co-owner Paul Ruppert tells Washington City Paper, "The restaurant is so connected to Makoto and to his background and to his cooking that it was hard for us to imagine continuing it without him. We thought it was best to go out on a high note and spend these next two months celebrating that and then open with a new project." 

I spoke with Paul this afternoon, and he told me they plan on creating another use for the space. "Crane & Turtle is so directly tied to Makoto that we decided it makes sense to create a new restaurant," Paul said. "Brainstorming ideas right now. Happy to have suggestions."

I asked Paul how the closing impacts his other Upshur restaurants and the bookstore, and he felt it wouldn't have a negative impact. "I think that our businesses work in a symbiotic relationship, so it is a disappointment for us to close one," Paul said. "But I am confident that we can come up with an idea that will benefit the neighborhood and fit in well with our other spots."

According to the WCP article: 

Ruppert says the team has no specific plans for what's next for the space. They're still brainstorming ideas. "We're considering both keeping it in the same style, which is fine dining in a neighborhood setting, but we're also considering doing something more casual as well," Ruppert says.

Below is the message posted on the Crane & Turtle Facebook page:

After much careful consideration, Crane & Turtle has decided to close our doors on Sunday, April 24, 2016. 

Husband & wife team, Executive Chef Makoto Hamamura & Pastry Chef Katy Kinch, will be relocating to New York to pursue future career opportunities and to be closer to family. Chef Makoto (whose mother and aunt are named Crane and Turtle, respectively, in Japanese) is so intertwined in the identity and success of the restaurant that no replacement will do.

We are proud of the work we have done to create a unique dining experience that combined all of our team’s passions: chef-driven inventive cuisine, engaging service, exceptional wines & beverages, thoughtful design, and most importantly, camaraderie & community.

We feel truly honored to have been a part of special moments in our guests’ lives ranging from engagements to birthdays to a memorable night out with dear friends. We hope that you will look back on an evening spent at Crane & Turtle with same fondness as we all will.

We would like to especially applaud all of our remarkable staff that has worked so diligently everyday. Crane & Turtle could have never accomplished the high degree of critical acclaim without each and every one of you.

We cannot thank Petworth enough for welcoming us with open arms and not only being loyal patrons, but becoming our friends. This is an incredible neighborhood with so much heart. We feel very privileged to have called it “home.”

We are looking forward to the next few weeks of service. We see this time as a period of celebration. We certainly hope that you will be a part of it.

Thank you all & cheers, The Crane & Turtle Family