With five Boise Fry Company stores up and running, founder and co-owner Blake Lingle and his team dreamt up a ramen shop with ping pong tables for the basement under the Capitol Boulevard store.
RamaPong expects a late September opening in 1,800 square feet under Boise Fry. The room will be outfitted with six ping-pong tables that double as community dining tables. One ping pong table will be reserved for table tennis play only.
The idea for ramen, a cheap and popular Japanese noodle soup, had been pushed by Boise Fry manager Jordan Krema through a series of brainstorming sessions for the basement, which until now has been used for storage and office work. Krema’s ramen scheme finally gained traction in January when Lingle dreamt up the ping-ping pong angle.
“Ramen by itself is just boring,” Lingle said. “What’s nice about ping pong is everything is rollable. We can roll up the entire restaurant to the wall and have this as an open space to host events and concerts.”
Gaston’s Bakery previously used the basement for its bakery, and Guru Donuts used the 350-square-foot basement kitchen before moving to the Idanha.
Krema is working on the ramen menu with RamaPong executive chef Aaron Kunde, a sous chef at Redfish Lake Lodge and graduate of the College of Western Idaho Culinary Institute. He’s taking ramen seriously.
“We want to make sure we bring ramen to Boise right,” Krema said. “I think Boise usually three years behind in most things. Ramen is huge in most bigger places.”