Deep Ellum's critically acclaimed noodle shop, Monkey King Noodle, will open a second branch in an ultra-happening 'burb to the north: Carrollton.
The restaurant has signed a lease in downtown Carrollton, at 1309 S. Broadway. That's right next-door to the Carrollton branch of Cane Rosso, the also critically acclaimed Neapolitan pizzeria whose first branch was also in Deep Ellum.
Do we now have permission to say that Carrollton is the new Deep Ellum?
Although Dallas has lots of noodle shops, Monkey King stands apart as one of the few places that makes its noodles itself — which customers can watch in a demonstration window that opens right onto the street.
Its menu currently includes noodle soups in chicken, hot spicy beef, and vegetarian garlic peanut, as well as dumplings in varieties that include pork and vegetarian edamame. But with the Carrollton opening, they'll have a bigger menu, says co-owner Andrew Chen.
"We're still going to have our staples, but we'll be able to have some seasonal dishes," he says. "There's a lot of items we've wanted to do that we can't because we're so small right now."
Monkey King will be renovating the existing structure which dates back to the 1930s. The setup will include covered outdoor seating.
Co-owner Michael Wang says that they'll try to duplicate their Deep Ellum vibe but may not be able to work in a demonstration window.
"We're still in the middle of the planning, but the space is pretty tight," he says. "We're working with the architects to see what we can do."
But the Carrollton location will give them something the Deep Ellum space does not have: actual dining room seating. The Deep Ellum spot is little more than a tiny stand, with impromptu tables set up on the sidewalk and in the back patio.
He does see parallels with Deep Ellum, including a downtown with vintage charm and potential for growth. "The demographics in the area are very good, with Cane Rosso and there's a bakery going in, and a new apartment complex," he says. "And it's next to the DART station."
They are targeting June 2016 as an opening date.