Austin’s popular Chinese vegan restaurant Veggie Heaven is now closed permanently, because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The restaurant, which was found on 1611 West Fifth Street location next to the Clarksville area, had been closed temporarily since mid-March during the novel coronavirus pandemic and owner Stacy Chen decided against reopening .
“With COVID-19 affecting our business greatly,” noted the Facebook post on Tuesday, September 1, “we have decided to shut down permanently.” It continued later: “While the prospect of closing is a sad one, we thank everyone who has become part of the Veggie Heaven Family.”
Original founder and owner Mei Chen opened the restaurant on campus at 1914 Guadalupe Street in 1998. it quickly became known for its Protein 2000 dish (a soy take on beef with broccoli), the Lucky 7, fried tofu balls with vegetables, and bubble teas, among other dishes. She decided to close the restaurant 16 years later because she wanted to retire.
Nearly a year later, her daughter, Stacy Chen, announced she was bringing the restaurant back to life in 2015 in the new West Fifth location. The revitalized restaurant finally opened in 2017, with more of an emphasis on vegan fare.
While Stacy Chen was working on reopening Veggie Heaven, she also opened a ramen restaurant, Yoshi Ramen, in the Hancock neighborhood in January 2018. She closed the restaurant that December so that she could focus on Veggie Heaven.