Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Strings Ramen shutters on 2nd Avenue

Photos by Steven 

Strings Ramen has closed at 188 Second Ave. on the SE corner of 12th Street.

Last night was the grand finale for the Chicago-based ramen chainlet.
The sign for patrons states, in part: "Due to COVID, we have experienced extremely tough time for running the business... We are truly sorry and sad to see this happen." 

Strings, a regular on the best-of ramen lists in its home turf of Chicago, never had much of a chance here... opening in early February 2020, with about six weeks of business before the pandemic-era PAUSE of March 2020. (And it also doesn't help that the neighborhood has a lot of ramen options.)

As previously noted, the restaurants at 188 Second Ave. haven't fared well in recent years (at least since old-timer Shima got rent-hiked out of here in January 2014). Lumos Kitchen lasted three months in 2018. Others to make quick departures in the past five years were Hot Pot Central, DumplingGuo and Dumpling Go.


Anonymous said...

This poor location. It never seems to stand a chance. I can't recall how many reincarnations this corner has had during the past decade. Perhaps this would be better served as an office space?

Anonymous said...

What a shame. Their pricing was really good and the serving sizes were generous too. Guess it's onto the next tenant.

Anonymous said...

This place had 2 problems: a menu that was mostly NOT in English when they opened, and their "Hell challenge" that they pushed, to see how much "pain" you could take in terms of spiciness.

Very bro-y, so did not EVER make me willing to go in there.

Suggestion to any business that opens in this spot (or around the area): You don't do yourself any favor if you seem exclusionary or mostly interested in customers who are from the country whose cuisine you are serving.

I have money to spend, and I would have tried this place if it hadn't given off such an aggressive "can you take the heat of our food?" vibe.

Anonymous said...

Shima was not only rent-hiked out, but their main chef had a very serious illness. Place was not the same without him.

Brian Van said...

"Wow, what's wrong with this location?" I give you one guess, hint: rent

Anonymous said...

How else is a business supposed to separate itself from a saturated market? There are 20 different ramen shops in the EV alone. Bro-y? Really? Stick to pasta and meatballs.