Rendering of planned interior of Noodle Doodles/ Credit: Noodle Doodle

For all those noodling what might fill the empty space adjacent to Union Pharmacy, the wait is over: Ray Dheng, owner of two Wen’s Yunnan Noodles & Ramen restaurants in downtown Boston, signed a lease and plans to open a Japanese noodle bar in the 1,500-square-foot space along Great Plain Avenue. 

Noodle Doodles restaurant will offer a variation of Wen’s menu, specializing in Japanese ramen exclusively. With almost a decade of experience in the noodle restaurant business, Dheng said focusing on one type of cuisine allows them to perfect it and create more detailed recipes. 

“It’s a new brand and new concept,” he said. “I have faith we can do much better focusing on one thing.” 

He said the name Noodle Doodles is designed to draw in a younger crowd, and the menu itself will bring a more American ramen fusion with the traditional Japanese style. It will offer both eat-in and takeout options. 

With locations on Newbury and Tremont streets, the move to the suburbs is a leap. But Dheng said he believes Needham Center is a promising spot. “It’s a great location. I like the city and the area. I think it’s high potential over there.” 

Although the plans are in the early stages, with zoning and building permits still to go, Dheng is hopeful they can begin to prepare the space in the fall. He said it will be at least six months before they can open. 

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