WEST LOOP— A popular Canadian ramen franchise is gearing up to open two Chicago locations — its first restaurants in the U.S. — in the West Loop and Wicker Park this spring.
Kinton Ramen, which debuted in Toronto in 2012, is bringing their franchise to the city before opening other locations in New York and D.C., said John Tirch, vice president of operations for Kinka Family.
The restaurant, part the Kinka Family restaurant group, will serve up Chef Aki Urata’s pork and chicken ramen bowls along with a broad range of hot and cold tapas.
The West Loop location — nestled between Bonchi and Lululemon at 163 N. Sangamon St. — will open in mid-April. The Wicker Park location at 1426 N. Milwaukee Ave., formerly home to Brooklyn Industries, will open the following month, Tirch said.
Urata, who has been with the company since its inception and has been making ramen for nearly 30 years, will lead training for the U.S. culinary team.
Much like the Canadian locations, the Chicago restaurants will offer small, bustling setup of 60 seats with an open kitchen, Tirch said.
In addition to their signature ramen bowls, which start at $13, the restaurant will offer a broad range offer up Hot Karaage (spicy fried chicken) and Chiki Chiki Don (rice chicken dish) — favorites at their Canadian locations — which will range from $7 and $10.
Other dishes include: Kimuchi, Takowasabi (marinated octopus), Salmon Tataki, aged gyoza, torched Atlantic salmon and more.
Eater Chicago was first to report on Kinton Ramen’s plans to expand to Chicago.
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