Ippudo, which describes itself as a “Japanese ramen noodle brasserie” is to open its first West Coast restaurant in downtown Berkeley.
The global restaurant chain has signed a lease at 2011 Shattuck Ave. (at University), in the street-level retail space that will also soon be home to Berkeley’s first Blue Bottle Coffee shop.
Originating in Japan, Ippudo has restaurants across Asia and Australia, as well one in London and two in Manhattan. It was founded in 1985 by Shigemi Kawahara with, according to its website, an emphasis on Tonkotsu (pork-based) ramen and a wood-centric interior design.
The seven-story building in which Ippudo will be located is home to WeWork co-working offices where many small companies and startups have their bases (as well as Berkeleyside). Jordan Caspari, a partner at Soma Capital Partners, which owns the building, described Ippudo as a “high-end ramen concept,” and said he was excited the group had chosen this site.
It is unknown what the new Berkeley restaurant will be offering, and Berkeleyside was unable to reach anyone at Ippudo by press time.
The lunch menu at Ippudo NY’s Westside restaurant in midtown Manhattan includes a variety of ramen dishes and toppings, as well as a few appetizers, salads, Hirata buns and chicken wings. It offers vegan and gluten-free options. Both New York restaurants also serve dinner.
The Berkeley restaurant will move into the space formerly occupied by the Biryani House which shuttered in late 2014. The space will be divided in two to also accommodate Blue Bottle. James Freeman, owner of the Oakland-founded coffee roaster, said the two operations would be separate.
Ippudo is part of a ramen renaissance in the East Bay. Hopscotch chef Kyle Itani plans to open Itani Ramen this month on Telegraph at 18th Street. And Jake Freed and Hiroko Nakamura also aim to open Shiba Ramen at Emeryville’s renovated Public Market in January. Both say their ramen restaurants will offer an experience more like eating Japan than the Bay Area. Meanwhile, Rockridge’s Ramen Shop has proved so popular that last year it expanded into a next-door space.
Scoop: Blue Bottle Coffee coming to downtown Berkeley (12.18.15)
Go slurp: 6 Berkeley and Oakland spots to eat ramen (11.06.15)
Shiba Ramen wants to feed noodles to non-foodies (12.07.15)
A return review of the expanded Ramen Shop (10.12 15)
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