Perpetually hip ramen shop Noraneko, known as a night-owl’s haunt for karaage and dumplings, is no more. The Oregonian broke the story after owner Gabe Rosen wrote the paper, saying that his casual, counter-service ramen shop would not be reopening in the new COVID-19 pandemic world.
The article did not give a detailed reason for the shop’s closing, but cited that every year for Rosen became “...more and more difficult,” and mentioned that he was “winding down” Noraneko.
The ramen shop was Rosen’s second Japanese restaurant in Portland — Biwa, an izakaya tucked in the back of an vintage brick building in Southeast Portland, was nationally celebrated, garnering praise from Bon Appetit for its chicken-fried kimchi. Noraneko opened in 2014, an even-hipper alternative to Biwa with a 2 a.m. closing time, cocktails, ramen, and killer late-night snacks. Within the last few years, however, the ramen shop curtailed its hours, only staying open until 11 p.m.
It’s unclear what this means for Giraffe, Rosen’s other business, a Japanese convenience-store-style cafe with groceries and egg salad sandwiches. Currently, Giraffe’s website is advertising free grocery delivery, not including any of the deli’s prepared foods. Rosen has yet to respond to requests for comment.