Hiro Ramen House, opening 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11 at 1102 Chestnut St. (215-351-0130), has been trying to fly under the radar for months.
Dan Zhao, one of the owners, won't disclose the names of the French and Japanese restaurants where he's worked. His partner Jason Jiau will say only that his family has restaurants in Maryland. Then there's the matter of the facade of their storefront.
There's no sign, and there won't be for a while, they said.
The front window, now shrouded in black plastic, bears a distinctive "candy stripe" cease-and-desist notice from the Department of Licenses and Inspections. (The spot is next door to Milkboy Coffee, which had more than its share of union and city attention during its build-out.) They say they'll keep it up, all the better to keep crowds to a minimum during their opening phase.
Place looks snappy, with lots of wood (reminiscent of Terakawa Ramen at Ninth and Race).
Not ready, Zhao and Jiao say. They'll be doing many different styles of ramen, including a house version that will change semimonthly. Most ramens will be about 9 bucks. No alcohol.
After Thursday's nighttime opening, hours will be 11 to 3 and 5 till 11, Tuesday through Sunday.