Strings Ramen is up and running at 188 Second Ave. at 12th Street.
This is the fifth outpost for Strings Ramen, a regular on the best-of ramen lists in its home turf of Chicago and the United States. (There's also a location in Madison, Wisconsin.)
Among other dining options, Strings features the Monster Hell Ramen Challenge, an extreme dare in which participants have to sign a waiver before attempting. Here's one write-up of it:
[The challenege] involves eating an entire bowl of level five spicy ramen in 20 minutes or less without leaving the table or guzzling more than the measly single allotted glass of water. It’s not hard to understand why: The level five Hell Ramen is fueled by no fewer than five different kinds of peppers, including ghost (which you’ve heard of) and scorpion (which you probably haven’t – it’s from Trinidad, and has been listed among the world’s hottest). The fact that the peppers infuse the broth, which soaks deeply into the bowl’s other ingredients, makes the heat completely impossible to dodge. And after your second or third bite, your tongue is essentially immersed in a spice-spiked lake of fire.
"Winners" receive a $50 gift certificate and a Monster Hell t-shirt... oh and the bowl is free.
Their hours are listed as 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., according to Yelp.
Perhaps Strings Ramen will be able to make this space work. 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.