GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A ramen noodle restaurant opening this year is one step closer to bringing “boozy boba” to downtown Grand Rapids.
On Wednesday, the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority approved a resolution recommending a liquor license for Noodlepig, located at 601 Bond Ave. NW, just north of Trowbridge Street in Grand Rapids’ Monroe North neighborhood.
Owner and founder Chris Wessely, a self-professed “ramen addict,” said the restaurant would utilize the surrounding social district to serve to-go cans of beer, wine, sake and alcohol-infused boba cocktails, which he calls “boozy boba.”
Wessely signed a lease for the 2,122-square-foot retail space last September. He has been building out the ground-floor restaurant for the last several months, including installing a 1,200-pound noodle machine from Japan behind glass so customers can watch their noodles being made.
“It’ll be very much like Mackinac (Island), making the fudge,” he told the DDA.
Wessely said Noodlepig will be like “Qdoba for ramen,” with a fast-casual dining experience and a menu of signature dishes with the option to build your own dish from ingredients that are all made in house.
Every bowl of ramen Noodlepig sells will also fund meals for three children in need on the international, national and local scale in partnership with three charities.
“You can’t solve all the world’s problems. You know, it sometimes gets overwhelming. But this is something that’s very easy for people to comprehend, to attain. And it’s really something that’s near and dear to my heart and so I’m just really kind of opening up my mission and inviting people to share in my mission as I grow the noodle company,” Wessely said.
Wessely said the restaurant’s opening date is a “moving target.” He first hoped to open March 1, but construction delays have pushed out the time frame. He’s now aiming to serve up his first dish to the public in July or August.