OTAKU RAMEN TO OPEN IN NASHVILLE’S THE GULCH NEIGHBORHOOD ON DECEMBER 19
Chef Sarah Gavigan’s celebrated pop-up will re-open as a brick and mortar restaurant and Nashville’s first dedicated ramen shop, Otaku Ramen
(December 15, 2015—NASHVILLE, TN) – On Saturday, December 19, Chef/Owner Sarah Gavigan will broaden Nashville's culinary landscape by opening the city's first dedicated ramen shop, Otaku Ramen. Located the heart of The Gulch neighborhood, the restaurant was born out of Gavigan's pop-up ramen shop, Otaku South, which launched in 2013 and gained widespread popularity and a cult following throughout Nashville.
“After three years of learning and serving our beloved ramen, we are so excited to introduce Nashville to Otaku Ramen just time for Christmas,” says Gavigan.
Using locally-sourced pork bones to give the ramen broth a distinctive regional taste, Otaku Ramen will remain faithful to traditional methods and philosophies of ramen, while adding hints of Southern influence. Various ramen styles will be represented including Paitan, Shoyu, and Gavigan’s popular Tennessee Tonkotsu (a rich, dense bone broth with noodles, pork confit, scallion, woodier mushroom and ramen egg). Select Otaku South favorites will make a welcome return, including Hot Chicken Buns and Okonomiyaki, a Japanese savory pancake with traditional toppings such as pickled ginger bonito flakes and kewpie mayo. The shop will also contain a Japanese whiskey bar, featuring a Japanese-style cocktail program created and run by No. 308 owner and bartender Ben Clemons. The menu will focus on premium sakes, shochu, and Japanese whiskey.
Gavigan aptly describes herself as “an obsessed home cook who jumped the fence.” During her 17 years working in the music and film industry in Los Angeles, Sarah fell upon the nickname ‘Otaku’ pertaining to Ramen or Japanese Anime and literally meaning “the obsessed.” After a move back to her native Nashville, and with no source for the Japanese cuisine she had grown to love, Gavigan decided to teach herself the craft of ramen with zero experience in a professional kitchen. In summer 2013, Gavigan launched Otaku South with her first event at 12 South Taproom. Otaku quickly went on to “pop-up” in some of Nashville’s most beloved spots such as Catbird Seat, Burger Up, and Barista Parlor. After opening POP Nashville in May 2014, the ramen shop served 5 days a week for one year while searching for a brick and mortar location. The graduation of Otaku South to a brick and mortar restaurant and its rebirth as Otaku Ramen, represents the culmination of Gavigan’s quest to introduce ramen to a wider audience.
Nestled in Nashville’s Icon Building, Otaku Ramen’s space was brought to life by Design, Bitches, a Los Angeles firm that focuses on tying together functionality and creative architecture. The interior is deeply inspired by the Japanese ramen shops of the 1970’s and pop culture of today. The restaurant seats 85 guests, including an enclosed patio.
Otaku Ramen is slated to open Saturday, December 19 at 1104 Division Street in The Icon Building in The Gulch neighborhood. Lunch will be served Tuesday through Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., and dinner will be served Tuesday through Sunday 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. No reservations are accepted; walk-in only. Guests receive free parking for one hour in the Icon Building and in the lot directly across the street. News, updates, and more information will be available on www.otakuramen.com.