Another day, another ramen spot opens in Chicago. How can new places set themselves apart? If you're the owners of Ramen Takeya, the dedicated ramen shop on Fulton Market from the people behind Wasabi that's holding a one-day soft opening tonight, you make yours darker and grittier than most, and dangle Japanese street-inspired signs from the walls and ceiling.
While not quite as gritty as Brendan Sodikoff's High Five Ramen, parts of Ramen Takeya feel a little like you may be walking down a back alley in Tokyo. Sure, there's a ramen bar, some no-frills wooden tables in the front where it's a little brighter, and those hanging light bulbs that are oh-so-trendy lately. There's also a neon ghost from Pac-Man, chicken paitan ramen (chicken-broth based with roasted pork), vegan ramen, small plates and cocktails.
Ramen Takeya soft-opens tonight at 6 p.m. for one night, with a limited menu available until food runs out. The grand opening, when regular hours (5-11:30 p.m.) and the full menu commences, happens on March 31. Lunch service is planned for early summer.
Ramen Takeya, 819 W. Fulton Market, website.