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With Yuji Ramen Gone, Whole Foods Bowery Opts for Generic Barbecue Over Something Good

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Whole Foods Bowery has given up on those cool, independent vendors. Now it's just a regular grocery store.

Foursquare/Eric W.

This past summer hit ramen shop Yuji Ramen abruptly pulled out of Whole Foods, where its noodle bar had been the main attraction in both Gowanus and on the Bowery, and relocated to owner Yuji Haraguchi's Williamsburg restaurant, Okonomi. That left both stores with a hole in the food court, and shoppers wondering what would replace it. Would it be some other up and coming startup, looking for a shot at the big time?

The Gowanus store pulled in Cemita's, a Mexican sandwich shop popular with the Smorgasburg crowds, to fill the void. So it was completely reasonable to expect that the Bowery Whole Foods would do the same, and offer the spot to another Smorg vendor, or some other buzzy pop-up. But no, it's just a generic, Whole Foods brand barbecue counter. Bowery Boogie has a look at the menu of BBQ, as it's now called, which includes your basic smoked brisket, pulled pork, sausage, and seitan, plus sides. All are reportedly smoked in-house. So that's something at least.