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Ganko Ittetsu Ramen closes after five years

Pokeworks moving to new location, Metro Mart to remain

<p>For Arushi Parekh ’24, the ramen spot was “nice for a dinner out, especially if you wanted something more comforting … something warm,” adding that there aren’t many places on Thayer with similar offerings.</p>

For Arushi Parekh ’24, the ramen spot was “nice for a dinner out, especially if you wanted something more comforting … something warm,” adding that there aren’t many places on Thayer with similar offerings.

After five years on Thayer Street, Ganko Ittetsu Ramen management announced that its Thayer location closed permanently as of Feb. 19, via a sign posted on the storefront. 

“We would like to thank all of our loyal customers for the last five years,” the sign read. “We have enjoyed serving all of you.”

According to the message, remaining gift cards can be redeemed at Ganko Ramen’s Brookline, Massachusetts location or “upcoming locations.”

The management team did not respond to multiple requests for comment. 

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Ganko Ramen was a popular spot among students and was appreciated for offering cuisine that is not common in other restaurants nearby campus. 

The news came as a surprise to Arushi Parekh ’24, who found out about the closing over the President’s Day long weekend but did not hear much about it until afterward. “I think it was a bit of a shock to everyone,” she said. 

Though the news was announced to patrons on the closing day, Parekh hopes that the business and employees had enough time to move and potentially find new employment. She was also “surprised at how much Thayer’s been changing … with Blue State in the fall … and now this.” 

For Parekh, the ramen spot was “nice for a dinner out, especially if you wanted something more comforting … something warm,” adding that there aren’t many places on Thayer with similar offerings. “I really liked the interior — it was something intimate, and I used to go there with my friends a lot,” she said. 

With “a lot of bubble tea places and one less coffee shop now on Thayer,” Parekh hopes that ramen will make its way back to the street and that some other businesses will move into the lot in the coming months. 

The closing also came as a surprise to Seehanah Tang ’25, who “felt like (Ganko Ramen) was one of the few good restaurants (near) Brown’s campus.” The ramen “felt pretty authentic” and Ganko Ramen “was a good place to eat with a friend or catch up,” she said. 

Pokeworks, which currently occupies one of the storefronts neighboring Ganko Ramen, will move across the street to the lot formerly occupied by Santander Bank, The Herald previously reported. According to Pokeworks Manager Bryan Morillo, the move “could be within the next three to four weeks … they’re going pretty fast over there, so hopefully sooner (rather) than later.”

The decision to move was made “some time ago,” Morillo said. “On a franchise level, I guess they’ve always been looking to relocate to a larger location.” 

In the new location, Pokeworks will “be able to have booths on the inside, (and) a lot more cozy seating” for people to “come in, sit down (and) relax,” Morillo said. He hopes it will be “kind of a respite from Thayer Street because there’s not a lot of room to sit on Thayer,” with most places being takeout. “Maybe a hangout spot is the idea,” he added. “We’ll see how it goes.” 

While Pokeworks is moving, Metro Mart — also next to the now closed ramen restaurant — is here to stay. Store Manager Milan Pradhan said that the convenience store has a contract to remain in its current location for three more years. 

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According to Pradhan, the lot is owned by Capstone Properties. “Maybe after a couple of years they’ll make a building,” he said. If that were to happen, Metro Mart would move back after the new building was built under the conditions of their current contract, Pradhan added. 

Capstone Properties could not be reached for comment in time for publication.  

Managers of both Pokeworks and Metro Mart anticipate learning what will occupy the space in the near future.

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Rhea Rasquinha

Rhea Rasquinha is a Metro Section Editor covering Development and Infrastructure and also serves as Co-Chief of Illustrations. She previously covered the College Hill, Fox Point & the Jewelry District and Brown & Beyond beats. Rhea is a junior from New York studying Biomedical Engineering and loves dark chocolate and penguins.



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