A ramen restaurant is in the works in the former Papa John’s Pizza space in Yakima.
Ramen-Ya is under construction at 3508 Summitview Ave. Owners Gregory Perrault and Michelle Kim met in Los Angeles and moved back to Yakima shortly after Kim gave birth to their son.
The idea for a ramen restaurant came when the couple lamented some of the food they missed eating in Los Angeles. Perrault is a chef and had owned a restaurant in Portland, so the couple decided to open their own place.
“We see changes happening in Yakima that are exciting,” Kim said. “We just wanted to be part of that growth and development.”
After looking at a few locations, they drove by the Papa John’s space, saw it was available and secured a deal with the building owner.
"Ya" is a Japanese suffix that translates to “shop” with whatever word in front of it, hence Ramen-Ya is “Ramen Shop.” However, Kim said many people think "Ya" is a reference to Yakima. Kim doesn’t mind if people see the name that way, especially given her desire to be a neighborhood spot.
“We want to make it a fun place,” Kim said.
The eatery will have a small menu of ramen varieties along with other items. The aim is for the ramen to highlight high-quality ingredients, Kim said.
Kim said there isn’t a firm opening date yet but said she and Perrault would like to open by the end of March.