Dining With Denise Neil

Yokohama Ramen Joint’s owner finds a second spot, will open on Wichita’s east side

2016: A sneak peek at Yokohama Ramen Joint

(FILE VIDEO) Jack Fukuda opened his ramen restaurant at 613 W. Douglas on April 24, 2016. He had a soft opening several days before.
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(FILE VIDEO) Jack Fukuda opened his ramen restaurant at 613 W. Douglas on April 24, 2016. He had a soft opening several days before.

Yokohama Ramen Joint now has an east-side spot.

Jack Fukuda, who opened his tiny but popular Delano ramen restaurant in 2016, has always wanted an east location — one that was bigger than his original at 613 W. Douglas where he could expand his offerings.

He’s found it in the former Twizted Confections space at 6434 E. Central. The space, which is in Normandie Center at Central and Woodlawn, sits to the east of Il Primo Espresso Cafe.

Fukuda says he hopes to have the new restaurant, which he’ll call Yokohama Ramen Izakaya, open by the first week of August. Construction should start on May 1.

yokohama garlic ramen
The same ramen dishes popular on the menu at Delano’s Yokohama Ramen Joint will be on the menu at the new Yokohama Ramen Izakaya. Denise Neil The Wichita Eagle

Finding the right space took a little longer than he thought it would, Fukuda said, but he likes the Normandie Center spot. A new owner has purchased the center and is working on the roof and parking lot, he said.

He was tipped off to the space, he said, by his friends at Cafe Asia, which operates in the corner of Normandie Center.

“They’re the ones who told me, ‘You might want to move there,’” he said. “I love that area. It’s a pretty busy area.”

The new restaurant will have space for about 55 people. The original Yokohama, which is always busy and packed, seats only 30.

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Yokohama Ramen Joint owner Jack Fukuda is opening a second restaurant that will serve trendy “izakaya”-style appetizers. Courtesy photo

In Japan, an ‘izakaya’ is a type of bar that serves drinks and small plates, and it’s becoming trendy in big cities. Fukuda’s new restaurant will serve the ramen soup the original Yokohama has become known for but also will offer alcoholic beverages like sake, fine Japanese whiskey and Japanese signature cocktails.

It will also serve unique Japanese-style small plate appetizers like carpaccio, fish dishes and Wagyu beef imported from Japan.

I’ll keep you updated on the new restaurant’s progress.

Corie Rast, manager of the Columbus Park Ramen Shop, demonstrates the proper method to eat a bowl of ramen.

Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.
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