As the Denver ramen scene teeters on the edge of massive growth (Cho77 is slated to open in Baker in February and RiNo’s Osaka Ramen is pegged for March), there’s more news to report: Jeff Osaka will open a second Osaka Ramen in Cherry Creek North. He expects the shop to open in April.
The noodle house will take over the Ay Caramba space at Third Avenue and Detroit Street. The two ramen shops will function like siblings: both will offer traditional Japanese small plates and five mainstay ramen bowls: shoyu, shio, tonkotsu (the star ramen with an all-pork broth), tan tan men, and a vegetarian version with Thai green curry and coconut milk. Expect the same menu for lunch and dinner, as well as a similar pop-culture, Japanese anime vibe. The differences are mostly driven by location and space: The Cherry Creek shop will offer take-out while the flagship will not, and Cherry Creek won’t have counter seating but it will have an upstairs and a bar on each level pouring local and Japanese beer, as well as sake and soju cocktails.
Cherry Creek’s somewhat lackluster dining scene might seem an odd choice for what promises to be a jewel of a restaurant. Osaka believes the area is poised for resurgence thanks to the residential buildings that are either occupied or coming online shortly. “There’s a lot of density in Cherry Creek now that was gone for a while,” he says. As for the space itself (one that has housed Soleil Mediterranean Grille, Eco-Burger, Bisque, and Ay Caramba), Osaka believes it’s well positioned on the block and has great visibility.
It’s exciting to see the ramen trend spread across Denver. Come spring, many areas of the city—RiNo, Baker, and Cherry Creek, in addition to Governors’ Park, LoHi, and downtown—will have a ramen place to call their own.
2817 E. Third Ave., osakaramendenver.com