New York noodle shop Ivan Ramen expands to Midwest

New York noodle shop Ivan Ramen, the hip and remarkably well-liked spot on Manhattan’s trendy Reduced East Aspect, has leapfrogged throughout the region to Nebraska by a new partnership with multiconcept casual-dining operator Flagship Cafe Group.

Omaha, Neb.-primarily based Flagship, dad or mum of the 14-unit Blue Sushi Sake Grill and other ideas, not too long ago began providing Ivan Ramen’s menu for shipping and takeout only by means of a ghost-kitchen area-design and style operation set up in the kitchens of its Blue Sushi places to eat.

Nick Hogan, co-founder and CEO of Flagship, said he and Ivan Ramen founder Ivan Orkin have been close friends for numerous decades and experienced thought of possibilities to function together in the previous. The pandemic established the phase for this new company arrangement.

“As we started to pivot to delivery, we identified just how rapidly consumers have been by themselves pivoting in the direction of shipping and delivery and 3rd-bash shipping platforms, and noticed the increase of some of these ghost kitchen area kinds of principles,” he instructed Restaurant Hospitality. “We assumed his menu lent alone to shipping, and we both of those believed this would be a awesome way for us to spouse not only through the pandemic, but in the foreseeable future collectively.”

Ivan Orkin_NYC.jpgPhoto: Ivan Orkin outdoors his Ivan Ramen restaurant in Manhattan.

Orkin has obtained superstar standing by means of his ramen stores — he opened two in Tokyo just before opening in New York in 2013 — and through his physical appearance on the Chef’s Desk Television collection. The two restaurateurs had each improved their shipping and delivery abilities through the pandemic and shared a commitment to offering superior-high-quality foodstuff and activities, Hogan mentioned.

Flagship, immediately after closing all of its spots at the get started of the pandemic previous March, has considering that reopened and secured arrangements with third-celebration supply vendors that enable the company to have a practical off-premises business enterprise. That facilitated the partnership with Ivan Ramen, which has been efficiently set up as a takeout- and delivery-only principle in four Blue Sushi destinations Nebraska, with more expected to come on line in the coming 4 to 8 months.

In order to get started offering the Ivan Ramen menu, Hogan stated the Blue Sushi restaurants streamlined their possess menus somewhat — a system that was underway in any case ahead of the partnership commenced — and made much more effective use of the back again kitchen parts of the cafe, out of the way of the primary sushi line. They also made what Hogan described as “modest” investments in new products to execute the menu, which focuses largely on Ivan Ramen’s signature ramen dishes, but also includes a few other things, this kind of as Japanese Fried Chicken with toasted garlic caramel, togarashi and shiso ranch, and Steamed Pork Buns with soy-plum glaze and picked daikon.

Ivan Ramen personnel worked intently with Blue Sushi to put together the places to eat and kitchen workers, developing what Hogan termed a “team inside a team” to execute the concept inside Blue Sushi’s kitchens. The principles will continue being solely individual, on the other hand, with the exception of some refined cross-marketing that could happen, he said.

Blue Sushi Sake Grill Spread.jpg

Blue Sushi Sake Grill’s menu is mostly targeted on sushi, making it possible for area for ramen preparation in the kitchen area.

The Blue Sushi workforce and Orkin also worked with each other to occur up with a collection of sakes and Japanese lagers that accommodate the food items menu.

Ivan Ramen will get a share of the revenue generated through the concept, Hogan explained, describing Orkin’s stake in the venture as considerable in phrases of his time and commitment, but if not free of charge of liabilities on the cost facet of the business.

The Ivan Ramen brand name has a powerful pursuing, Hogan defined, that has been producing media excitement and solid term-of mouth close to the new expansion now. Feedback from buyers has been “really favourable,” Hogan claimed.

IvanRamen_dish2.jpgPhotograph: Ivan Ramen sources many ingredients from Japan.

Portion of the problem of the rollout is guaranteeing that the source chain can guidance the amount of component top quality Ivan Ramen demands. Orkin resources quite a few of his ingredients directly from Japan. An outsourced producer is generating the noodles to Ivan Ramen’s specifications, and other elements are in a procurement pipeline to guidance the enlargement of the principle to other Blue Sushi spots, Hogan claimed.

“He went from reasonably minimal usage on some [ingredients] to increased utilization right away,” stated Hogan. “That’s why we’re phasing in some of these merchants, just to make sure we have received a strong source chain in location, and we really don’t have to begin and end.”

In addition to Omaha and Lincoln, Neb., wherever the thought is at this time made available, options contact for enlargement to Blue Sushi Sake Grill places in Dallas Fort Worth, Texas Austin, Texas Denver Westwood, Kan. Naperville, Ill. Indianapolis Westlake, Ohio Lexington, Ky. and Des Moines, Iowa.

In a assertion, Orkin said he was psyched to deliver his idea to new markets.

“I’m thrilled that I can give men and women an authentic expertise that is on par with what they’d have at my Clinton Street location, in the convenience of their households in spots like Lincoln, Nebraska or Dallas, Texas,” he reported.

In addition to Blue Sushi Sake Grill, Flagship’s other principles consist of Blatt Beer & Desk, the Flagship Commons foods corridor, Plank Seafood Provisions, Roja Mexican Grill, Anthem (an Asian-motivated informal pub), and the Revival Home cocktail lounge. The organization also has other ideas in enhancement, which includes outposts in Denver and Phoenix of the Ghost Donkey cocktail lounge, developed by New York-centered AvroKO.