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Santa Fe restaurateurs opening ramen shop in Albuquerque

A new Japanese ramen restaurant is slated to open later this year in the old Mint Tulip spot across the street from UNM. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

A Japanese ramen restaurant is scheduled to open later this year in the old Mint Tulip spot across the street from UNM. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It seems there’s something of a ramen row brewing across the street from University of New Mexico.

The family behind Santa Fe’s 40-year-old Shohko Café — which lays claim to having “New Mexico’s first sushi bar” — is expanding into Albuquerque with a new Japanese restaurant called Naruto. It will specialize in ramen but also serve some sushi, bento meals and Japanese-style tapas.

Naruto is going in at 2110 Central SE, a spot empty since the 2014 closure of Mint Tulip Vegan Cafe.

That means it’s just a couple doors down from the existing O Ramen restaurant, which opened about a year ago.

“Don’t worry,” Hiro Fukuda, who is opening Naruto with wife Shohko, said of the proximity to another ramen shop. “There are different ways to make (it).”

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Fukuda, a Tokyo native, said Naruto will heed a specific process to make traditional Japanese ramen, something that requires using the right type of water for the broth.

“When you taste it, you’ll see the difference,” he said.

Naruto is also obtaining a beer and wine license and will offer Japanese beer and sake, he said.

Remodeling at Naruto has begun, and Fukuda said the goal is to open by late-summer.


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