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Japanese ramen chain anticipates summer opening in Lincolnia

A Japan-based ramen chain is gearing up to open a new location in Lincolnia this summer.

Founded in Nagoya, Japan, in 2010, Kajiken is expanding its footprint with an outlet in Pinecrest Plaza at 6550K Little River Turnpike. The restaurant is scheduled to open within the next six months, according to the franchise owner, Maryland-based IVEA Restaurant Group.

The 3,100-square-foot space was filled for the past two decades by Foxfire Grill, a popular establishment that closed its doors on Oct. 31, 2023. Owner Terri Fox told Annandale Today that Edens, which owns Pinecrest Plaza, doubled the rent.

Foxfire Grill’s suite has been cleared out, but Kajiken doesn’t appear to have started its buildout yet. As of last week, no signs had been posted to announce its impending arrival.

Known for its abura soba, a “soupless ramen” dish featuring buckwheat noodles served with oil instead of traditional broth, Kajiken has locations all over the world, including 37 in Japan, 20 in China, five in Singapore, five in New Zealand, and now three in the U.S.

IVEA CEO Edward Yo told FFXnow the company launched its first U.S. franchise in Baltimore, Maryland, before moving into markets in Chicago, Illinois, and San Mateo, California.

Per its website, the company is planning to expand to five additional locations in Rockville, Maryland; Manhattan and Flushing, New York; Bellevue, Washington; and Richfield, Minnesota.

While this will be the first Kajiken location in Virginia, IVEA is no stranger to the region.

In addition to Kajiken, the restaurant group operates dozens of other Asian-inspired eateries throughout the D.C. area, including Genki Izakaya, Urban Hot Pot and Southeast Impression.

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