Chicago's ramen scene shows no signs of slowing down with the impending arrival of the first Kukai Ramen & Izakaya to the Midwest. Originated in Japan, the ramen chain is due to hit Wicker Park in the former Max's Wine Dive space by mid-February, according to DNAinfo. Kukai has four locations in the Pacific Northwest (three in Washington, one in Oregon).
The Chicago outpost's menu will be the same that's found in the Seattle location's. The spot will be operated by franchisee Kevin Yu, who is moving here in January to get the ramen flowing.
Wicker Park already has popular ramen slingers Oiistar and Furious Spoon. How will the neighborhood take to the chain's expansion? Additionally, the space Kukai will reside in has had its share of turnaround (Max's, which lasted ten months, and Covo Gyro Market). Will ramen be what breaks the curse?