The popularity of ramen has led the owners of Kizuki to announce plans to create a mini-ramen museum inside their Wicker Park restaurant. Ownership plans on opening the 100-square-foot space in October with the hopes of teaching their customers more about ramen.
Diners will walk through the exhibit before entering the restaurant’s dining room. The displays will include a live-video feed of a street in Tokyo, a 3D map of Japan showing regional differences in noodles, toppings and broth. They’ll also showcase the history of the Kizuki chain, which has 18 restaurants in Japan and two in Taiwan. Formerly known as Kukai, they also have five in the state of Washington, and locations in Oregon and Indiana. There’s plans to open a second Chicago space inside the NEWCITY retail space near Lincoln Park as early as this year.
Owners said they’ve been impressed by how the neighborhood's embraced them since they opened in March. This gimmick is hardly the first ramen museum in the world. Eighteen years ago, the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum opened in Japan, claiming to be the first "interactive food theme park" in the world.