After successfully launching Kyuramen last year, the ramen shop’s owners are opening their second Japanese eatery in downtown Oak Park. Part restaurant, part customer experience, Gyumon will be an all-you-can-eat Japanese barbecue restaurant where diners will get to cook fresh food right at their own table.

“Each table will have a barbecue right in the middle,” said Hui Zhu, who co-owns Gyumon and Kyuramen with Miao Chen, Zhixin Hu, Han Wang and Ziyi Wang.

Set to open early next year at 105 N. Marion St., Gyumon will feature a selection of different meats and vegetables, chopped and ready for guests to roast over their table’s open cook tops to dip in Japanese sauces. Zhu said Gyumon promises the highest quality cuts and freshest produce, upholding the same standards as its sister restaurant.

“It’s very healthy, very fresh,” said Zhu.

Smoke won’t be a problem, even for the diners who like their food extra charred. The grills entirely smokeless, on top of being designed and manufactured in Japan, adding to the restaurant’s authenticity.

Those looking for a more traditional dining experience won’t feel left out at Gyumon. The menu includes meals made by chefs in the back kitchen, as well, so diners who are not interested in cooking won’t have to lift a finger – except for lifting chopsticks from their plates to their mouths.

The all-you-can-eat concept is intended to keep minds at ease and bellies full.

“People don’t need to worry about the bill that much by enjoying our so many delicious food options,” Zhu said.

Gyumon is leasing the storefront once occupied by Kalamata Kitchen, which closed last September. The beautiful space in the friendly downtown Oak Park corridor was chosen specifically for its proximity to the Metra station, which makes the restaurant easily accessible to Chicago residents and Oak Parkers alike. The storefront is also just a one-minute walk from Kyuramen at118 N. Marion St., making it convenient for the restaurants’ owners, who also just really like the community of Oak Park.

“The people are very friendly, very kind,” Zhu said.

Kyuramen’s owners are active participants of the community, including in events and communications with Downtown Oak Park, the business alliance that works with the Village of Oak Park and other local agencies to promote businesses and restaurants in the downtown district, according to DTOP Executive Director Shanon Williams.

“They’ve been a great addition and they’re very engaged in the community,” Williams said. “There’s nothing but great reviews coming out of their current restaurant, so I’m sure this second location is going to be just as successful.”

Gyumon also is bringing bubble tea to Oak Park. Bubble tea is a Taiwanese drink famous for its boba, which are little balls of tapioca that fill the bottom of the glass the tea is served in.

Gyumon is being decorated by a China-based interior design firm that has branches in Japan and Taiwan. The plan is to bring eastern influence to the west Chicago suburb, according to Zhu. Its atmosphere and décor will be similar to that of high-end restaurants in Japan.

“It’s going to surprise you,” Zhu said.

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