Take yourself back to the fall of 2017. Donald Trump was president. The LEGO Ninjago Movie was in theaters. Milwaukee was in the grip of ramen fever. Yes, long before the poke craze, the axe-throwing craze, and the gameshow/cat-petting/escape room/rage room craze had descended upon the city, Milwaukee was all about ramen. Now, one year later, it appears there may be even more ramen on the horizon—if you’re willing to kick in a few bucks.
Enter Ramen Nom Icon, a curiously named, currently theoretical ramen joint that wants to set up shop in Bay View. In order to do that, business partners Ivan Wayne Baker III, Christopher Rick, and Daniel Warschkow have turned to crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise money to buy the needed kitchen equipment. A flexible goal of $25,000 has been set; as of this writing, a little over $3,000 has been raised.
In case you were wondering, Ramen Nom Icon won’t be your grandma’s ramen joint. “We plan on having two traditional types of ramen—one miso broth and one tonkotsu (pork bone) broth, and a rotating specialty bowl that will change every 4-6 weeks,” says the Indiegogo campaign. It continues:
Everything will be made fresh from scratch, except for the eggs because we’re not chickens. Our focus is on fresh, flavorful ingredients locally sourced whenever possible. The rotating ramen bowl will be a weird and experimental option. While the other bowls are traditional in style, this will be anything but. This will delineate our ramen shop from all others. It will probably agitate ramen traditionalists because we have plans to upend what the word ramen means in Milwaukee.
Also, the eventual shop will sport a “Lovecraftian visual theme,” because “Ramen Nom Icon” is pronounced like “Necronomicon.” Huh.
The folks behind Ramen Nom Icon acknowledge that the ramen craze isn’t as “hot” as it used to be, but note that they would be “over 4 miles from the current epicenter of ramen in Milwaukee.” (That epicenter would be the East Side.)
On their Facebook page, the business partners say they are “working on putting together a schedule of pop ups as a series of stepping stones toward the opening of the shop.” Until then, a $100 donation will get you some free ramen and your name on the wall, while $2,500 will get you a $1,000 in-house account and your very own “branded ramen bowl.” Ramen.