Goro & Gun, Houston's First Ramen Shop, Opening Soon Downtown
"It is a ramen restaurant, it is a ramen shop, but it is not only that," Martinez teases. "We also will serve things that I love and can't find done well here." One example? Soup dumplings. "I can't find a good soup dumpling here," he says.
Goro & Gun will also serve some of the favorites found on-board Martinez's other project, The Modular food truck. "The bone marrow will make it onto the menu over here."
Also look for a full slate of cocktails, beer, wine and sake at Goro & Gun -- but not hot sake. Martinez doesn't believe in it. "I think we've gotten to a point now where people understand good sake," he says. Rouse and Moore are still pressing him to change his mind. "Maybe we'll say that's a soft no," jokes Rouse.
The bar is the focal point of the narrow space, which will ultimately house 65 people in total. Five of those seats will be at a chef's table, where Coffman will be able to showcase his extracurricular talents each night. "He's not just restricted to Asian food," says Martinez. "If he wants to do shrimp and grits, he can do shrimp and grits," he says by way of example.
The rest of the seats will hug the long, broad bar or the brick walls, in the form of both pub-height tables and black banquettes. There are only 15 inches of space behind the bar to put in shelving, so Goro & Gun will build up: ceiling-height shelves will span nearly the entire wall on one side, with a library ladder built in to reach the highest parts.
Brass sconces were rescued from the Houston Club.
If that layout seems familiar, Rouse says that it's intentional. He and Martinez drew inspiration for the narrow, high-ceilinged restaurant from Rickhouse in San Francisco, a similarly laid-out space managed by former Houston bartender Claire Sprouse -- a friend of the Goro & Gun team.
With the bar as such a main element in the small space, patrons may think at first that Goro & Gun is simply that: a bar, and nothing else. Martinez and Rouse want to emphasize that it's more than that.
"It's a restaurant," says Martinez. "A bar," says Rouse at nearly the same time. They both laugh. "It's everything," says Martinez.
"We want you to come in to eat, but feel comfortable sitting at a bar and eating," says Rouse. "All of us like sitting at the bar to eat."
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