According to announcements from City Center Bishop Ranch, legendary udon soup restaurant Marugame Udon is coming to the upscale San Ramon, California shopping center shortly.
On a recent visit to City Center, I was able to confirm the fact that Marugame Udon is coming soon, as well as the timeframe of its launch and its future location within City Center. On my visit, a previously vacant storefront on the Northern side of the shopping center, adjacent to Boba Guys and near the rear parking entrance, was newly emblazoned with large signs announcing the restaurant's pending launch.
According to the signs, Marugame Udon will be arriving in City Center in the Spring of 2022. The signs likely serve to announce the pending arrival of the new eatery, but also to obscure the restaurant's large windows during the interior build-out, where the restaurant's kitchen, tables, and other fixtures will be constructed and installed.
The signs themselves were colorful, and featured Japanese manga-inspired images of people eating udon soup and noodles, using chopsticks, and otherwise enjoying the Japanese cuisine restaurant's food. Some of the images were emblazoned by cartoonish words like "Yum" in large letters, suggesting a playful, casual vibe for the restaurant.
It appears that Marugame Udon will occupy a relatively large space at City Center, extending from Boba Guys' storefront nearly to the parking entrance. Marugame will complement ROAM Burgers as the second restaurant on the north side of the complex.
According to Marugame's website, the restaurant serves udon bowls, tempura, katsu sandwiches, and other twists on traditional Japanese food, all from a "theater kitchen" that allows visitors to watch the food being prepared. Marugame says that their udon noodles for their signature soups are made to order, ensuring that guests will receive "the best tasting Japanese food on the planet."
Marugame Udon originated in Japan, and now has several locations in the United States, including one in Los Angeles in California and one in downtown San Franciso. Margugame's addition of a San Ramon location mirrors an overall trend of many restaurants--especially those serving upscale Asian food--setting up East Bay locations to complement their popular downtown San Francisco eateries. The Slanted Door, a Vietnamese food restaurant also at City Center, was one of the originators of the trend.
When will Marugame Udon actually arrive at City Center? Initially, the launch of many restaurants at the upscale shopping center were delayed by Covid-19, but many have since proceeded. Curry Up Now recently launched at the shopping center after significant delays. That suggests that Marugame could indeed be serving udon lovers at City Center as early as this March or April, if all goes to plan.