Hit Japanese ramen chain Ichiran — known for its tonkotsu broth and solo dining booths — is finally making its way to Manhattan.
The restaurant, which first landed in NYC with a Bushwick outpost in 2016, will take over more than 1,400-square-feet at 132 West 31st St., between Sixth and Seventh avenues, in Midtown, according to the Post. This location will seat 46 people and is expected to open in April.
Here, Ichiran will be going even harder on its solo dining concept. The Brooklyn location has communal dining and allows solo diners to collapse partitions to talk to friends — but in Manhattan, “they’ve done away with that to preserve the authenticity of the concept,” a spokeswoman tells Eater. The menu will otherwise largely be the same.
The company is revered for founder Manabu Yoshitomi’s obsessive dedication for tonkotsu broth and freshly made noodles. Solo dining booths, where people dine alone, might seem like a gimmick, but the original idea was that the ramen is so good, people should spend time focusing on it without distractions. When the Bushwick location opened, hundreds of people waited in line for it.
Ichiran has been planning to expand widely since it first opened here. They plan to open at least three new locations by 2020, according to a spokeswoman, though no other locations are set yet. Besides the restaurant in Brooklyn, the company also has a production facility to make the noodles. The Times awarded the tonkotsu ramen here one star, deeming it one of the better versions in the city.