The long-awaited noodle bar is open as of Thursday in the Loft, located in the Anderson Student Center.
In September, the Loft announced intentions to add a Japanese noodle bar to its menu starting in January. Just short of the deadline, the Loft pulled through Thursday’s convo hour with a grand opening for the noodle bar.
Bruce Person, supervisor of the Loft, said when the idea for a noodle bar was first presented, it was received well because it fit nicely with the menu.
“We opened the noodle bar to get more of a variety and to get more people aware of the Loft,” Person said. “We have coffee and smoothies and some quick grab-and-go type things.”
Sophomore Maddie O’Brien tried the new noodle bar and said she liked the new option.
“It is way better than the cheap (ramen noodles) that you get at Rainbow or Cub,” O’Brien said. “It’s just a nice change from the traditional sandwich or coffee break.”
Gary Ramsy, a representative from Ariake, the company that produces the noodles, said it is not the kind of ramen students typically eat in their dorms.
“We call it real ramen because it is authentic Japanese ramen noodle, which is a wheat noodle that is fresh and is boiled shortly before preparation,” Ramsy said.
Aside from the benefits of authentic flavor and preparation, ordering a bowl won’t take too much time out of students’ days. The noodles are prepared in a minute and a half or less.
“There is a little bit of fun in it,” Ramsy said. “It’s fast and you’ll receive a fresh, full bowl. It’s not just a snack, it’s a full meal.”
The Loft tried to make every aspect of the new noodle bar flexible and reasonable for students. The vegetarian bowl costs $5 and pork or chicken bowls each cost $5.75. Students can pay for their meal using eXpress, flex or cash.
“This bowl would retail for $12 in New York or $9 in Chicago,” Ramsy said.
A major reason for the Loft’s new opening was to direct more traffic to the third floor and get students to the Loft.
“It’s kind of hard to realize that the Loft is up here [on the third floor] with so much food on the first and second level, so I think this will definitely draw a lot of people upstairs,” O’Brien said.
Freshman Peter Moe thinks that the noodle bar will attract students.
“There isn’t a whole lot of reason for students to go up to the third floor; now that we have added a place to eat, we have given students another option to go to and I definitely think students will go up there,” Moe said.
The Loft’s noodle bar is now in full production and will be available to students daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Zach Zumbusch can be reached at email@example.com.