Morris Ramen to close after 7 years

Francesca Hong. Photo by Robert Chappell.

A downtown Madison restaurant will close after seven years in business.

Morris Ramen announced on Facebook “with humble gratitude and the heaviest of hearts” that its final service would take place February 24.

Owned by State Representative Francesca Hong and chef Matt Morris, the restaurant at 106 State Street serves a variety of ramen and Asian-inspired dishes. It survived the pandemic by scrambling to create a take-out menu, figure out how to make their signature high-end noodle dishes reheatable, and stock up on all the packaging and other supplies necessary to convert from a sit-town restaurant to take-out and delivery.

“I think in the hospitality industry where there is a lot of emotional labor that you can’t quantify,” Hong told Madison365 in 2022.

“The service industry is relentless and restaurant work takes incredible skill, determination, and teamwork,” Hong and Morris wrote in their post. “It demands perseverance, a strong sense of self, and grace. This work has never been easy, but working alongside all the world’s best staff helped us trust that we could get through for as long as we did.  Please know it is because of our teams that we’ve lived our vision of nourishing souls and building community one bowl of noodles at a time … To be real, dreams die. We have come to terms with this as it has been an extraordinarily taxing couple of years. I think we are broken in ways we can’t really comprehend yet, but we need to give ourselves time to try to feel it.”

Hong was honored in 2021 with a “Head of the Table” award from Bon Appetit Magazine.