More than 60 Years Since Opening Shop, Its Regular Customers in Grief
Tsuruki, a restaurant known as “Ekimae Gyoza”, located in Fukui Prefecture, Fukui City, Chuo 1-Chome, closed down on January 31st. Over 60 years have passed since the restaurant had put up its red signboard. Although a famous restaurant with strong ties to the history of JR Fukui Station West Gate, it has taken down its shop curtains, as its regulars grieve the closure.
The restaurant first opened in 1955, at a corner by the Fukui Station West Gate. The restaurant’s gyoza became a hit, filled with ingredients and meat juices, and packed within a thick and crispy wrapping; the shop would be crowded with many customers, including businessmen on their way home from work. In 2005, due to area redevelopment, the shop relocated south-west of the station, along the South road.
Katsumi Higashino, the second-generation restaurant manager, approaching her seventies, decided to close the shop as “a turning point” in her life. As news spread of the restaurant closing, there had been a surge of its regulars during the past several days. On its final day, on January 31st, customers had already began lining up from around three o’clock, two hours before the restaurant opens; by the time it opened, the line had grown to about 50 people.
“After drinks at Katamachi, I would often buy gyoza here on my way home as a souvenir,” reminisced a man from Sakai City (aged 78), who had been frequenting the restaurant since his twenties.
“The Ekimae area is continuously changing. No longer being able to see Tsuruki’s red signboard is a lonesome thought,” said a man from Fukui City (aged 64).