Chinese hand-pulled noodle shop Very Fresh Noodles is preparing to take its first steps outside of the vendor stalls of Chelsea Market, the owners confirm to Eater. The company has signed a lease for a standalone location in Midtown, at 980 Avenue of the Americas, between W. 36th Street and W. 37th Street, with tentative plans to open in June 2020.
Diners can expect all of the fan-favorite dishes in the new location that Very Fresh Noodles has built its name on — the tingly and spicy cumin lamb noodles, the Taiwanese beef noodle soup, the spicy vegan noodles with mock duck — alongside new appetizers that owners Peter Tondreau and Victor Huang have been adding to the main menu, including chili-garlic seaweed salad, crispy, tingly chicken wings (seasoned with over 20 spices), and a new take on Liangfen, or cold mung bean glass noodles, that are made in-house and shaped like ribbons, according to Tondreau and Huang. They’re also promising the long-awaited arrival of dumplings, both in pork and chive and vegan iterations.
The new Midtown space measures approximately 830 square feet, with 23 seats inside. Tondreau and Huang are looking forward to creating a “more tailored experience” in this location compared to Chelsea Market, the pair describe to Eater in an email. “We are inspired by Japanese record bars, or ‘jazz kissas,’ and hope to bring in some of those elements,” the owners write. They expect (and hope) that the majority of the restaurant’s customers will be walk-ins, as compared to delivery and takeout orders. “We have strong takeout at our current shop, but we are nearly begging our customers to eat inside Chelsea Market to ensure the best possible tasting noodles, and to avoid the noodles getting soggy,” the owners write to Eater.
Very Fresh Noodles first launched inside Chelsea Market in 2016, at a 90-square-foot space, but customer demand necessitated two subsequent moves to larger spaces inside the food hall. This expansion marks the first time that Very Fresh Noodles will operate a standalone location. “It is an opportunity to prove our concept outside the auspices of Chelsea Market,” the owners explain.