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New ramen restaurant taking over former downtown Kamloops Boston Pizza

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The sign is finally up for a new ramen joint in downtown Kamloops now that the old Boston Pizza signage is down.

Jimmy Wang is excited to open his new restaurant along Victoria Street as renovations continue to get Ramen Time ready for customers next month.

"I plan to open on second week of June if plans go through," he said.

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Initially he planned to open his first solely-owned restaurant on June 1, but speed bumps among supply chains slowed renovations in the former Boston Pizza location.

It's not his first foray into the restaurant industry. Wang said he's had shares in other restaurants before, but this is the first that he's taken on by himself.

Jimmy Wang plans to open his new restaurant in Kamloops, Ramen House, by mid-June, 2022.
Jimmy Wang plans to open his new restaurant in Kamloops, Ramen House, by mid-June, 2022.

With pressures in the local service industry, like troubles finding employees, Wang is still banking on the downtown location to be successful after selling his house to fund Ramen Time.

"I've put everything into this," he said. "And it ended up more expensive than I thought."

A few doors over, Passek's Classics Restaurant and Bakery recently announced it will close next month. Co-owner Harry Passek said there were several combined issues that led to his tough decision including a downturn in walk-in customers, difficulty finding staff and vandalism in the downtown core.

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Despite his claims, Howie Reimer of the Downtown Kamloops Business Association said several downtown restaurants are seeing an upswing in business.

He attributes much of that success to the Rocky Mountaineer train tours.

"Business is definitely up overall in the downtown, at least at restaurants," he said. "I would think it's mostly because of Rocky Mountaineer and the reduction of restrictions."

He added, however, that staffing issues are common among the restaurants in the area.

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At 340 Victoria Street, Wang said he plans on setting his noodle soup apart from the rest with handmade noodles and oil for the all-important ramen broths, rather than sourcing from larger suppliers.

He plans to open on June 13, but that could change as he continues to prepare the kitchen and dining areas.

Ramen Time will be the third ramen-dedicated restaurant in Kamloops, with Tiger Ramen in Sahali and The Wakayama Ramen Bar across from Thompson Rivers University.

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