Trendy Milwaukee Avenue already has arcade bars, hipster dives, taco shops—and ramen shops. So adding another should come as no surprise, as Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya soft opens for lunch today, while fully opening on March 4 along the so-called "Hipster Highway" inside the former Max's Wine Dive space at 1482 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park.
The overall layout of the 85-seat restaurant has remained the same, though the lighter-colored wood gives the space a more airy feel. There's a wall of Japanese lanterns, but visitors won't find communal tables that are a staple at many noodle houses. There's two bars, a corner one with 13 seats, and another eight-seater near the register. The back wall has a shelf stocked with plenty of sake, and check out the lower shelf with a few Japanese craft beer selections.
Kizuki is a Japanese chain and until November the company was known as Kukai Ramen. It has 18 restaurants outside of America, and the first U.S. space was in Bellevue, Wash. But it's not just about ramen, so don't forget about the bao and izakaya. Slurp up the photos above and see if Kizuki can keep pace with Furious Spoon and Oiistar along Milwaukee Avenue.
Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya, 1482 N. Milwaukee Ave., officially opening on March 4. Open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday (closed from 2:30 to 5 p.m.); open 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.t o 10 p.m. on Sunday.