Lakeview is only a few weeks away from the opening of its own Strings Ramen Shop, one of the best and most-popular ramen restaurants in Chicago. While the original Strings celebrates its three-year anniversary next week in Chinatown—they’re giving away birthday cupcakes—management is preparing to expand their brand at 919 W. Belmont Ave., the former Ramenster space.
A Strings spokesman said the Lakeview location could open in mid- to late-March. The space is smaller than the Chinatown location with 40 seats compared to 60 on the South Side. Ownership is also expanding the menu to include poke bowls, exclusively for Lakeview. That’s an intriguing decision considering Aloha Poke Co. has a location just a block east on Belmont.
Hebru Brantley will paint an interior mural on Strings’ back wall. Brantley murals have popped up all across the city. He met Strings owner Kenny Yang years ago while playing basketball.
This isn’t the first attempt to expand to the North Side. Strings briefly opened a shop in Lincoln Park that’s since closed. While some have contemplated that growing popularity of ramen that brings new ramen shops across the city, Strings credits itself as Chicago’s first dedicated ramen shop.