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A Ramen 'Mothership' Touches Down in Back Bay This Month

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Santouka's second area location opens in May, and the Seaport is next

Takahiro Igo and Ryo Kobayashi, head ramen chefs at Santouka Back Bay
Takahiro Igo and Ryo Kobayashi, head ramen chefs at Santouka Back Bay
Meggie Quackenbush for Eater

With one local outpost already becoming a Harvard Square mainstay, the popular Japan-based ramen company Santouka will be expanding into Back Bay later this month. Opening up shop at 66 Hereford St. (formerly Mentei), Santouka's new 16-seat restaurant will feature expanded ramen offerings compared to the Cambridge location, but the rest of the menu will be slightly scaled back.

"In Cambridge, there's a lot more space; we have appetizers, entrées," said Takahiro Igo, ramen chef at Santouka Back Bay. "This is a smaller location. We are focusing on ramen bowls."

Nao White, business development strategist for Santouka, said that the Back Bay location has been in the works since March 2014, when Santouka held a pop-up event on Newbury Street in partnership with Itadaki. White said that the company also considered locations in the Financial District and the Seaport areas of Boston but ultimately settled on Back Bay because of its nine-to-five crowd and student population.

"Cambridge is more catering to families and larger groups," she said. "Here, it's much more tight, so it's probably going to be more in-and-out."

White said that Santouka Back Bay plans to open towards the end of May, and the company is looking into a third area location in the Seaport District. For now, she said that Santouka is excited to establish what she calls a "mothership store" in Boston's most high-end neighborhood.

"Back Bay is the heart of Boston," White said. "Looking at Newbury Street, there are many upscale retail stores. That's where Santouka identifies."

Santouka Back Bay

[Image: Santouka Back Bay rendering/Provided]

Santouka Ramen (Harvard Square)

1 Bow Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 Visit Website

Santouka Ramen (Back Bay)

66 Hereford St., Boston, MA 02115 Visit Website

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