At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, December 12, Mason's Creamery
will reopen its doors after a brief hiatus as a winter-long ramen popup shop. Minor modifications and physical improvements have been made to convert the walk-up ice cream shop into a small, but sit-down noodle bar.
For now, the hours of operation will be 4 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Owners may add lunch hours down the road.
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For the past three winters, Jesse Mason and Helen Qin of Mason’s Creamery
(4401 Bridge Ave., 216-245-8942) have hosted regular ramen pop-up events at their Ohio City-based ice cream shop. In addition to being a food they both absolutely adore, the wildly popular ramen nights inject some fun, energy and income into the typically slower months of the year.
The events have been so successful, in fact, that the owners were inspired to go all in this winter by setting up a full-time ramen residency at the shop.
“We were looking at options of what to do during the winter when it slows down,” explains Mason. “It’s not insanely crazy to think about doing ramen. We really don’t need to do much to convert it to a modern take on a classic ramen shop.”
In early December, the team will briefly shutter the petite shop in order to make some physical changes. New dedicated noodle cookers will be installed in the kitchen. The glass front on the display coolers will be removed to make way for some type of floating shelf that will serve as a dining counter. By enclosing the patio and adding space heaters, occupancy will be nearly doubled. All told, there will be approximately 18-20 seats. Service will be fast-casual-style, meaning that you’ll order, pay and sit down. Bowls also can be ordered to go.
As for the food, ramen fans can look forward to the same classic pork-based tonkotsu broth with cha siu (roasted pork belly), soy-marinated soft-cooked eggs, enoki mushrooms, mayu (black garlic oil) and ramen noodles. Other broth options will include chicken and a vegan mushroom-based brew. Specials and sides might also make appearances.
While most of the ice cream will be on winter holiday, a soft serve machine will be dispensing fun, colorful Japanese-inspired flavors that will be served in fish-shaped cones called taiyaki, a trend that’s sweeping the nation.
“The goal is to be fluid and just have fun with it, which has kind of been our plan with the ice cream shop in general,” adds Mason.
The plan is to run with the ramen concept until April, with afternoon and evening hours 5 or 6 days a week.
If you can’t wait until the middle of December for your Mason’s Creamery ramen fix, there will be a pop-up event taking place at the shop November 9 and 10.