Nashville’s first-ever dedicated shop, Otaku Ramen, has officially announced today that regional growth and expansion are on the horizon for the brand in 2023. The ramen shop will be debuting their new flagship location and their biggest restaurant yet (a nearly 3,000-square-foot space) at Highland Yards, a new East Nashville development, this spring. Later this year, the concept will also open its first location outside of Nashville proper, at the Factory at Franklin.
Otaku is in major regional expansion mode over the next few months (and years) with various housemade additions in the pipeline for the menus this year, and we'd love to work with you to tell the story. I’ve included additional details below my signature but please let me know if I can share more information on what’s to come for the concept and if you’d like to speak with the wonderful owner and visionary behind the brand, Sarah Gavigan.
Locations: West Nashville, The Gulch, East Nashville (flagship location opening this spring), Franklin (opening later this year)
Otaku Ramen was founded in 2012 when Sarah Gavigan decided to teach herself how to make Japanese Ramen and serve it up for the Nashville community. From a pop-up to now three brick and mortar restaurants, Otaku is a fast-growing company that values pop culture, music, and food as integral parts of the experience provided to guests. As Nashville’s first dedicated ramen shop, Gavigan’s vision is to serve “happiness one bowl at a time.” The name “Otaku” represents the entire massive subculture of Japanese anime, manga, and ramen. This is the culture Gavigan had come to know in the neighborhoods of LA, where she worked in film and music for nearly 17 years, and first became entranced by the craft of ramen and the science behind umami. To many the word “Otaku” simply means “obsessed,” and that is certainly what Gavigan became about ramen. With two types of broth available, Paitan (a.k.a. cloudy broth featured in the most popular of Otaku Ramen’s bowls, Tonkotsu) and Chintan(a.k.a. clear broth in the Shoyu Ramen), the menu features favorites including the vegetarian Tantanmen Ramen, in addition to small snacks like the ever-popular Hot Chicken Bao Bun, Gyoza Dumplings, Japanese Fried Chicken (JFC), and a beverage program offering Boba and a selection of Japanese sakes and local beers. Today, Otaku Ramen has three locations in Nashville, all with a unique, whimsical ambiance and convenient service, perfect for those on-the-go or seeking a filling meal to enjoy during life’s big and small moments (and the ones in between). With growth and expansion on the horizon, Otaku Ramen will continue to stay true to the brand’s core ethos which aims to provide a joyful, welcoming, and communal space for guests to come together over a bowl of ramen.