At long last, the shuttered Renaissance Diner finally has a suitable replacement.
Raku is a popular New York based ramen restaurant from owner Huey Cheng and Chef Norihiro Ishizuka. As one of the founding members of Cloud Nine Hospitality, Cheng has also been responsible for the popular Kura sushi restaurant, Patisserie Fouet, as well as Double Chicken Please. With a special focus on udon noodles, Chef Ishizuka has turned Raku ramen into one of the neighborhood’s most successful restaurants thanks to his 60+ years of experience.
Raku currently operates two locations in New York (in the East Village and SoHo) as well as as one in Toronto. Now, Cheng and the Cloud Nine team will be bringing Raku to a brand new audience in Hell’s Kitchen with their latest outpost, which will be opening up at 776 Ninth Avenue. The new Raku will be replacing the long-shuttered Renaissance Diner, an iconic Hell’s Kitchen diner that operated at the space for over 25 years before closing down for good in 2016. The space has remained vacant since, and residents are glad to see such a popular restaurant taking over the location.
The location is about standard for the neighborhood, and is expected to be able to accommodate about 68 guests inside at one time. The team also intends to utilize the open dining space in the parking lane, which will enable them to accommodate even more guests outside. The menu will remain unaffected and the restaurant will continue to serve Chef Ishizuka’s carefully curated udon selections as well as premium desserts.
Cheng is currently meeting with the community board to acquire a full liquor license for the new Raku. The other Raku locations serve specialty cocktails, sake, beer, and wine, so it is very important to the restaurant that they are able to acquire the necessary licensing for the new space. Cheng is proposing operating hours of 10:00 AM – 2:00 AM every day, seven days a week, though those hours are subject to change should the community board find any conflicts. For more information as the story develops, you can follow Raku on Instagram to be the first one to know when the new space opens.