Bagel Store's Pop-Up Ramen Shop to Open Separate Restaurant in LIC

By Jeanmarie Evelly on February 13, 2014 8:59am 

 Ramen at Mu Ramen in Long Island City.
Ramen at Mu Ramen in Long Island City.
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Mu Ramen

HUNTERS POINT — A pop-up ramen shop that serves noodles out of a Long Island City bagel store after hours will be getting a space of its own in the neighborhood, its owners announced this week.

Husband-and-wife team Joshua Smookler and Heidy He launched Mu Ramen in November inside Bricktown Bagels at 51-06 Vernon Blvd., serving steam buns and bowls of ramen in the evenings, after the bagel store had closed for the day.

Now the couple says they've secured their own space in the neighborhood for the noodle shop, and are planning to open a full-fledged restaurant, buoyed by the positive response their pop-up venture received.

"We're very, very humbled by the support we've been getting, especially from the locals. People seem to really appreciate having a ramen place in Long Island City, to give them another dining option," said Smookler, a chef whose past cooking stints include Per Se and Japanese eatery Zutto in TriBeCa.

"We know that we picked the right area," he added. "The people here have been really genuine."

Smookler and He are keeping the exact location of their future site under wraps for now, but said it will be in Long Island City, within blocks of Bricktown Bagels.

They plan to offer dishes similar to what their pop-up serves — pork or spicy miso ramen, plus starters like fried oysters and pork belly steam buns — but with an expanded menu.

"The menu is going to be much more extensive," Smookler said.

The couple will be renovating the space and are hoping to open it in about five months, he added.

In the meantime, they'll continue to run the pop-up shop at Bricktown Bagels intermittently, with hours varying from week to week. Fans can keep tabs on their hours of operation by following Mu Ramen's Twitter or Facebook accounts.

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