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a ramen shop comes to greenpoint

strolling down manhattan avenue this afternoon, i noticed that what had been katsu (tiny, usually empty japanese place) now boasted a different handpainted sign (ichiran ny). the note in the window said that ramen is very popular in japan, explained the different kinds, and said that ichiran is a japanese restaurant that excels in the tonkatsu variety. it also said that the owner of ichiran had fallen in love with greenpoint (?!) and was opening a new branch here. there were several magazine articles praising the original shop in tokyo. a september opening is promised. it seems a little odd, but here's hoping that we get some excellent japanese food.

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  1. This is a real scoop. I confirmed on their corporate site in Japanese. Here is an English web page they've put up- http://www.ichiran.co.jp/pc/hp/englis... . This is great news. Intereseting choice of location though...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Silverjay

      really interesting choice of location! i wonder if the people who ran katsu have some sort of connection with ichiran...? really looking forward to this, in any case.

    2. Thanks for this excellent tip.

      The Ichiran website lists the address as:
      1013 Manhattan Ave. (at Greene St)

      1. Spoke with the neighbors a couple of weeks ago and got the impression that its going to take a bit longer than expected. Apparently they haven’t started doing anything inside…

        1. OMG - not to seem over excited, but OMG!
          I've just moved from 2nd and 13th to Greenpoint. Right as Ramen Setagaya opens in my hood. Well, I was looking for Tomcats barbershop in my new hood, get lost and saw this place. I am so excited!
          BTW, found the barber shop.
          2nd BTW, did make it Ramen Setagaya and its amazing. Hopefully this place will be just as good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: josefr

            Anyone have an update as to opening? Can't wait.

            Love the Tomcats as well.

          2. Stopped by today. There seems to be some amount of progress- particularly with the amount of articles (some in Japanese) posted on the windows and door. One of them is from Adam Sachs' story earlier in the year from the NYT magazine, which I participated in and had recommended the Roppongi branch of Ichiran- http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/05/20/...
            There is also a string of lights below the awning. More revealing, I spied Ichiran branded "noren" curtains hanging about, as well as a glimpse of someone inside working behind the counter. Nevertheless, things look a long way from kickoff. Ichiran shops have a particular layout and configuration and I'm interested in how this will be handled in Brooklyn, NY, USA. It will surely be one small step for a noodle shop, one giant slurp for mankind.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Silverjay

              i peeked in the other day as well. like you, i'm VERY curious as to how this tiny brooklyn storefront will be transformed into an ichiran shop.

              1. re: wleatherette

                just a minor correction to the opening post - it's Tonkotsu, not Tonkatsu (which is the fried pork on rice dish). Man this is exciting - hope it opens soon...

            2. Does anyone have any more updates? My friend walked by and said it looked open the other day, and then closed again the next.

              2 Replies
              1. re: VeggieBooty

                All was shuttered and closed when I walked by on this past Sunday the 28th. The anticipation is killing me on this one.

                1. re: VeggieBooty

                  I poked my head in the day the restaurant appeared open: turns out they were hosting a private party/meal. they told me they would be open "next year." hopefully that means january 1st!

                2. i passed by on my way to cafecito and noticed there were people inside. by the time i passed by again, there was a "free tasting today" sign on the wall.

                  i'm not exactly a ramen connoisseur, but it really was the perfect thing to eat on a day like today. the broth was really rich, the pork cooked perfectly and the noodles (super thin - much more thin than i'm used to) al dente. they're not opening until next year, but i imagine the free tasting will go on for a few more hours.

                  1. As of today, there still isn't much going on. I made it a point to swing by this afternoon while on a run and see what was happening. When is this place going to open already???!!!??? I've already told my Japanese hair stylist about it and she's telling all her friends. I hope it's worth the buildup!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: foodstylist

                      An article in a Fukuoka paper says it will open sometime in 2008. The same article mentions that Ippudo in the EV will open in January.

                    2. I can't wait to eat at this place!! I am freaking out!

                      5 Replies
                        1. re: wanderluster

                          So it's July 3rd and still no Ichiran. I passed by again yesterday and the gate was half up -- there really appears to be a restaurant inside. I'd call that progress. Not sure if the owners underestimated how long it actually takes to get any kind of construction completed in NYC or if there were other problems in getting this place of the ground.

                          1. re: foodstylist

                            there was a restaurant in that space before, though. does it look like the interior has been renovated/changed/whatever? exciting news, if so!

                            1. re: wleatherette

                              I ran by there this morning and the window gate was up and there were indeed tables in there. I was also able to see table settings with spoons, napkins and chopsticks. Looks like they are almost ready to open -- I hope so, it's been a long wait.

                              Also, on the window were about 6 pages, some printed from the Ichiran website, some hand written. Nothing about an opening date. I'm hoping to hear something through my connections about an official date soon.

                              1. re: foodstylist

                                wow, i was looking at the website...
                                This sounds very exciting

                      1. ANy updates on this? Walked by recently and it looked ready to go but was still unopened.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: MVNYC

                          what seems very strange to me is that it doesn't look like much has actually been done to the space, which was already set up as a restaurant. certainly nothing that would take over a year. i wonder what's really going on there.

                          1. re: wleatherette

                            I noticed the other day as well. We've got to get to the bottom of this. Ichiran shops are known for their very particular, kind of wacky operation- i.e. buy a ticket from a machine, only sit down when a scoreboard light goes off., eat in a cubicle, submit requests on a piece of paper under a screen, fastidiously clean environs. They are well-known for this type of thing. After their broth, this is their trademark. I see the Ichiran logo, but this does not look like a "real" Ichiran shop. Don't they realize this is Brooklyn? We need zen order to stem the everyday chaos...

                        2. FYI, greenpointers: there's a new sign posted in front of the ramen shop (actually two -- one in japanese and the other in very cute poorly translated english) saying that the restaurant is due to open at an "indeterminate date" as "ichiran ltd. membership shop." they will ultimately be a regular restaurant, but they will first open for a small group of "members" who are invited to share their "severe opinion and frank comment" while the restaurant perfects its menu... there was a little box full of registration forms which you're invited to fill out and then leave in a little mailbox and the sign said that they would contact interested parties once they had decided on serving dates... it also said that membership would be for people who live within walking distance of the restaurant...
                          not sure what exactly any of this means, but i signed up and i'm excited to find out!