Berkeley Ippudo ramen restaurant to open in July

The build-out of the restaurant, which emphasizes Tonkotsu (pork-based) ramen, is nearing completion.

Passers-by look at the newly revealed façade of Ippudo at 2011 Shattuck Ave. in downtown Berkeley on May 8, 2017. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Update, May 10:¬†Thien Ho of the Panda restaurant group said the latest projection for an opening date has moved to¬†July. “Currently, we‚Äôre looking at a mid- to late-July timeframe for the grand opening,” she told Berkeleyside.

Original story: The much anticipated opening of ramen restaurant Ippudo in downtown Berkeley is almost upon us.

The projected opening date is June 2, according to¬†Michael Cadell of Panda Restaurant Group, co-owners of Ippudo. The build-out of the restaurant, at 2011¬†Shattuck Ave. (at University) in the co-working WeWork building, is nearing completion. On Monday, the last piece of scaffolding was removed from the restaurant’s fa√ßade, and passers-by peered with interest through¬†the open front door into the restaurant’s interior.

Cadell said the current projected opening date is dependent on the completion of final inspections as well as staff training. A second Bay Area Ippudo, in San Francisco, is slated to open on Aug. 8.

Berkeley is the first West Coast¬†location for¬†Ippudo, which describes itself as a ‚ÄúJapanese ramen noodle brasserie.” The restaurant is in the same building, and next door to,¬†Berkeley‚Äôs first Blue Bottle Coffee shop which appears to be doing¬†brisk business.

Ramen from Ippudo which has an emphasis on Tonkotsu (pork-based) ramen. Photo: Ippudo
A dish from Ippudo which has an emphasis on Tonkotsu (pork-based) ramen. Photo: Ippudo

Originating in Japan, Ippudo has restaurants across Asia and Australia, as well one in London and two in Manhattan. It has something of a cult-like following in New York City, with lines out the door as a regular feature. Ippudo was founded in 1985 by Shigemi Kawahara with, according to its website, an emphasis on Tonkotsu (pork-based) ramen and a wood-centric interior design.

In 2015, the operator of Hakata Ippudo (to give it its full name), Fukuoka-based Chikaranomoto Holdings, formed a joint venture with California’s Panda Restaurant Group, known for its fast-casual Chinese chain Panda Express. The venture, I&P Runway,¬†has plans to roll out many more Ippudo restaurants, according to industry reports.

It’s probably safe to assume the new Berkeley ramen destination will be a hit. The response to¬†Berkeleyside’s January 2016¬†story breaking¬†the news that Ippudo was coming to Berkeley was so high¬†that it¬†became one of our ten most popular stories of the year.

A peek at the interior of Ippudo in Berkeley on May 8, 2017. One of the¬†restaurant chain’s features is a wood-centric design. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside. Email: