Yuji Hirose loves you, Boise. Honest.
When the co-owner of Ramen Sho closed his restaurant at the end of May — one year after it opened on the second level of Capitol Terrace, 150 N. 8th St. — it wasn’t because he wanted to bail.
Challenges with the lease contract forced his hand, he explains.
“Business was doing well,” Hirose says. That isn’t a surprise. There was plenty of excitement about a ramen shop when the restaurant opened in the former Shige Japanese Steakhouse location.
For now, that space is empty again. And Downtown Boise has no restaurant dedicated to the popular Japanese noodle dish. At least until RamaPong — a project from Boise Fry Co. — opens in the basement of the Adelmann Building at 204 N. Capitol Blvd.
Two months before closing in Boise, Hirose launched a second Ramen Sho in Meridian at 520 S. Main St. Still, many Boiseans still haven’t gotten the news about the changes.
Slowly, that’s changing. Former customers are heading to the Meridian restaurant, Hirose says. And West Ada County locals are discovering the joys of a bowl of hot, steaming ramen in a fast-casual setting.
The Meridian restaurant isn’t going anywhere, he adds. “It’s doing great.” That lease situation is more stable. “So we can stay longer.”
A Ramen Sho food truck also started operating at the start of 2018. You can find it at local events.
Someday, Hirose says, he’d like to open another brick-and-mortar Ramen Sho restaurant in Boise.
“If we can find the right location,” he says.