THE legendary Mu Ramen has closed its doors in Long Island City and ‘Kuku Chicken’ has opened in the space. What began as a night-time pop-up in Bricktown Bagels and would take the city by storm has come to a very quiet end.
‘Mu’ began in November of 2013 as one of several ideas incubated as a night-time pop-up to utilize the downtime at Bricktown, and the only one to take hold. Three months later Pete Wells of The New York Times cited it as his top ramen pick in NYC and the rest was culinary history. Founded by LIC-couple Josh & Heidy Smookler, they would open their own location a year later at 12-09 Jackson Avenue and the crowds descended and never let up until they closed due to the pandemic.
What was deemed ‘temporary’ at the onset is now confirmed as permanently as a new restaurant called KuKu Chicken began their soft opening over the weekend. So instead of eating U&I1, foie-gras stuffed chicken wings, and silky, slow-cooked ramen broth made from Berkshire hogs, you can dine on Korean fried chicken prepared in multiple ways and cuts, as well as other Korean dishes such as beef bulgogi, pajeon (seafood pancake), and kimchi fried rice.
The new restaurant is the first of its kind and has no affiliation with the Smooklers. For the time being they are only doing delivery and takeout. As for whether ‘Kuku’ will become another one-name-wonder like ‘Mu’ only time will tell, but as some guy once said “The times they are a changin’…”
KuKu Chicken – website w/ full meNU
Mu Ramen – the reVU by Pete
- Uni & Ikura [↩]