JINYA Ramen Bar is now open in the new Ally Charlotte Center tower in Uptown. And plans are already in place for a second one.
That one will be in the Hazel SouthPark Apartments retail space — a corner space just off Barclay Downs Drive — in early 2022.
Why it matters: The popular ramen chain based in Los Angeles brings its Japanese recipes to town. These two locations are the first of four planned JINYA restaurants in Mecklenburg County and the first of the chain’s North Carolina locations.
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Background: JINYA Ramen Bar was founded by Tomo Takahashi after he immigrated to the U.S. and realized that the only way he could get authentic Japanese food was if he made it himself. There are now 40 locations across the country.
- Local franchise owner Jahzmin French has been in the restaurant business for 18 years and recently moved to Charlotte to open multiple JINYA locations across Charlotte.
- She hopes to expand to the Raleigh-Durham area.
What to expect: The menu will include 13 types of ramen, such as spicy umami miso ramen, wonton chicken ramen and spicy creamy vegan. There are six signature broths as the base of each ramen dish, and they’re cooked meticulously for 20 hours.
- French says JINYA stands out because of its variety. In addition to serving ramen, there will also be small, shareable plates like buns, brussels sprouts tempura and pork gyoza.
- The menu will also have plenty of vegan options like the flying harvest ramen, tacos and edamame. JINYA’s Charlotte location will debut a cold ramen dish — perfect for the summertime heat.
- For drinks, local beer will flow from the tap, along with classic and Japanese cocktails like the highball. French adds that customers can expect a robust mocktail menu, starring a blueberry fauxjito.
Uptown location: This space is 3,700 square feet and accommodates patio and indoor dining with the option to sit at the ramen bar and watch the chefs in action. A small lounge area gives guests a space to enjoy drinks before heading into the main dining room for a meal. French describes JINYA’s atmosphere as an everyday spot perfect for a quick lunch, a date night or just to hang out and relax.
SouthPark location: The SouthPark location will have indoor dining and a patio along Barclay Downs Drive. It’ll also have a bar and an oak tree inside.
Location/hours: JINYA Ramen Bar is located at 601 S. Tryon St., and open daily from 11am to 10pm. The SouthPark location is slated to open in early 2022.
Here’s a look inside the Uptown location:
Editor’s note: This article was last updated on September 20, 2021 to include new information about JINYA’s expansion to Charlotte.