Ani Ramen will close its doors at 401 Bloomfield Avenue on August 29, but this is a restaurant closure with a happy ending. The very popular ramen shop is moving up the street to 511 Bloomfield Avenue (the former location of Costanera) which is a larger space to accommodate even more ramen lovers.
Restaurateur Luck Sarabhayavanija opened Ani Ramen in Montclair in May 2014 to crowds seeking an authentic noodle experience and it quickly had lines out its door, serving hundreds of ramen bowls a day. In just 7 years, Luck has expanded Ani Ramen throughout NJ to Jersey City, Maplewood, Cranford, New Brunswick, and Cranford locations, plus two more locations set to open in Newark and Princeton next year.
Luck spoke to Baristanet to give us the scoop on the bigger Slurp. Sip. Repeat. location.
What is the story behind the move?
Unfortunately, our lease was up and we had to find a newer space. We took this opportunity to find a larger space to accommodate more ramen lovers right up the street! I would like to give a special thank you to all of our regulars who have supported us in our first Ani Ramen since 2014.
What will the new space be like?
We are aiming to keep the original Ani Ramen vibe; right now we are reproducing the original mural artwork on the walls.
Will the menu be different?
No, the menu will be the same. All of your favorite dishes will still be there. And we’ll have our daily Chef’s Specials from Julian, of course!
We know how difficult the COVID pandemic has been on the restaurant business. How has Ani Ramen weathered through these hard times?
We’ve been fortunate enough to make it through, with many thanks to our guests. Our first priority was to give back to our community and to first responders. We gave away thousands of meals. Then for a brief period, we pivoted to Detroit-style pizza and Thai rotisserie chicken. During that time we developed packaging that would keep our broth and ramen to our standards, so we were able to offer Ani pickup and delivery for the first time. The pivot to take-out/delivery really saved us last year and we’re thankful for all the support from all of our towns.
The bigger Ani Ramen at the new location is set to open on August 30, just one day after closing, so there’s no gap in service.