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Austin's 'Russian House' removes 'Russian' from name, marquee amid Ukraine invasion

"I have made a tough, yet, to my opinion important decision to change the name of my business," the owner said on Facebook.

AUSTIN, Texas — After Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a military operation into Ukraine, an Austin restaurant has made the decision to change its name, according to the owner. 

In a Facebook post on Saturday, the owner of Russian House of Austin, Varda Monam, said the restaurant would move forward with its business under a new name. Moving forward, it will be known as just "House" instead of "Russian House."

"I have made a tough, yet, to my opinion important decision to change the name of my business," the owner said in the Facebook post

I have made a tough, yet, to my opinion important decision to change the name of my business. Come join me tomorrow at...

Posted by Russian House of Austin on Saturday, February 26, 2022

In the post, the owner said the restaurant reflects the culture of Slavic and post-Soviet states including Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Uzbekistan, not exclusively Russia. And to show solidarity for Ukraine, the owner made the decision to remove Russian from the restaurant's name.

"As of today, the name itself brings pain to people. If the new name can bring the relief for just one person, it's worth it," said Monam.  

The restaurant owner describes herself as a mix of things. Monam is Armenian, Russian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian and Polish. She said when she first opened the restaurant, it was the only Slavic, Eastern European, Russian restaurant in Austin. 

"The idea was to create this island in the city of Austin to reflect and show the culture and have people of Texas come in and learn from others and come share different experiences," said Monam. 

Credit: Dominique Newland
Russian House is going by "The House" in solidarity with Ukraine.

"We're not letting it go. I'm holding on to the letters. I'm holding on to everything because of a deep love for Russia and Ukraine. We want The House to be a place where everyone is welcome, where we can concentrate on love, not hate," explained Monam. 

RELATED: Gov. Abbott asks Texas restaurants, retailers to remove all Russian products

The restaurant is running a deal in support of Ukraine. Proceeds from all Ukrainian dishes ordered on the menu will go toward helping Ukrainian refugees. 

"We will remain HOUSE. House for everyone and reflect what we truly are: representation of Russian/Slavic and all post-soviet states in food/drinks and culture," the owner said on Sunday.

On Saturday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he has asked the Texas Restaurant Association, Texas Package Stores Association and all Texas retailers to voluntarily remove all Russian products from their shelves. 


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