Ramen noodles are quickly becoming a popular restaurant dish, with establishments opening up all over the state, including Berlin and Plainville.
“I want this to feel like home,” said Sarah Tigrett, owner of Ramen Ya in Berlin.
Tigrett, of West Hartford, hopes to bring traditional and modern ramen-style dishes to her Berlin location, 1128 Farmington Ave.
People have already expressed curiosity about the red Ramen Ya sign, she said. Recently, a man walked in asking if the restaurant was open yet. Tigrett told him “soon” and gave him a paper dinner menu decorated with two cartoon cats eating ramen.
The mascots are modeled after Tigrett’s two cats, Sushi and Sashimi.
Locally, Asian noodle restaurants have been trending. In November, Roodle, a rice and noodle eatery, opened on Route 5 in Wallingford. There are several noodle establishments in New Haven as well. In Plainville, the owners of 50 West on West Main Street are turning the restaurant into Bob Ramen. It will be their second Bob Ramen location, joining the restaurant they opened in the Frog Hollow section of Hartford last month.
According to the restaurant’s Facebook page, so many people attended the opening that it ran out of food.
“It’s crazy to think about how many people we’ve served, and we look forward to embracing the challenges that lie ahead as we strive to improve here in Hartford and expand in Plainville,” said a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Like Ramen Ya in Berlin, Bob Ramen serves up a variety of ramen dishes with different add-ins.
Plainville Town Manager Robert Lee said 50 West had a good reputation in town, and that Bob Ramen would most likely enhance the downtown area.
“It can only be a good thing for the center of Plainville,” Lee said.
No other Japanese noodle restaurants currently exist in Plainville or Berlin.
Berlin Economic Director Chris Edge said he was interested to see what Ramen Ya could bring to the area.
“I’ve heard from a number of older and younger people who are already excited,” he said.
The location used to be home to a bakery, but Tigrett is quickly transforming the space into a fusion vibe. Black and white pencil and marker drawings decorate the walls, created by Tigrett herself.
“Not too fancy,” she said.
With 21 years in the Japanese restaurant business and family in Japan, Tigrett hopes to cook up an increasingly popular way of dining. Along with Ramen, Tigrett will serve up fondue-style “hot pots” and Japanese brunch.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said.
Ramen Ya and Bob Ramen are expected to open within the next month.
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