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‘I Would Have Died’: Southeast Portland Ramen Shop Closes Temporarily After Chef Was Stabbed

Menya Hokusei owner Ryan Callahan says someone attempting to steal his car stabbed him in the neck and leg, forcing him to spend multiple days in a hospital bed

Soybean sprouts, soy-cured egg, and bamboo shoots sit in a bowl with bright red broth at Menya Hokusei.
Ramen from Menya Hokusei.
Ryan Callahan
Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.

Chef Ryan Callahan says he has closed his new Southeast Portland ramen shop after a carjacker stabbed him multiple times. Callahan, who opened his restaurant Menya Hokusei this summer under the Hawthorne Bridge, posted on Instagram announcing the closure, briefly describing the incident. “My restaurant doesn’t run without me,” Callahan writes. “So until I’m back on my feet we will remain closed.”

Callahan says that after a night out with a friend in Salem, the two had fallen asleep in his car to avoid driving while intoxicated. At around 2 a.m. Saturday, November 5, he says he woke up to a man stabbing him in the leg and neck, hitting an artery in the leg. Losing blood quickly, he passed out again.

“The paramedics said if they had arrived 15 minutes later, I would have died,” he says.

The chef spent three days in the hospital, and is currently focused on healing, detailing his car, and making sure his employees get paid. The chef has set up a GoFundMe meant to cover his employees’ pay and his own medical bills, with an image of him in a hospital bed. “I worked so hard to achieve my dream of opening a restaurant and will be back to work as soon as I’m back on my feet to give Oregon the best ramen I can make,” he writes in the GoFundMe description. “None of us saw this coming and I just want to continue the dream and to continue to serve you guys ramen.”

The chef started his career in Salem Japanese restaurants, teaching himself how to make ramen at home with the help of online forums. After working for a company that makes food carts, he opened his own: Oniyatai Ramen, Callahan’s Salem food cart, served ramen with house-made noodles out of the Yard Food Park pod. He moved to Portland to open Menya Hokusei earlier this year.

Callahan says he hopes to reopen the restaurant Thursday, November 17.