Two Bay Shore brothers are getting set to open a ramen restaurant in Babylon Village they’re touting as a healthier version of the Japanese staple, with a coffeeshop vibe.
They’re looking to open O.G. Ramen later this year at 14 Railroad Avenue.
“We wanted to do something that was original and unique,” said co-owner Salvatore G. Bono, 32, whose launching the endeavor with his brother Frank, 30, the owner of Primi Italian Steakhouse in West Islip.
For the uninitiated, O.G. stands for Original Gangster, but the acronym itself has evolved as a stand-alone slang term that can refer to someone who’s “incredibly exceptional, authentic, or ‘old-school,’” according to dictionary.com.
“It can be earnestly used for a legend like Michael Jordan or more ironically, like for that friend who can unwrap a Starburst with their mouth,” the online entry reads.
Perhaps ironically, the place will be very much “new school.”
Sal Bono became a big ramen fan over the years, having discovered the dish while managing a resort and golf course in Orlando, Fla.
His beef with ramen places in Florida, he says, was the lack of options, with many of the same ingredients simply being combined in different ways.
Plus, he says, the chicken broth and pork fat often used in ramen noodle soup deems it unhealthy — though many look to ramen as a better alternative, health wise, to say, American-Chinese food places.
The OG team has been working on recipes for cleaner eating, with more protein options than at many ramen places, they say.
They’ll also be offering gluten-free and vegetarian dishes.
“We wanted to offer something people can eat every week, make it part of their diet and not feel guilty about eating it,” he said. “Everything’s going to be weighed out by the gram, with a product that’s super consistent, with consistent service.”
The plan is to do mostly takeout to locals and commuters, but there will be space for 18 seats as well.
The site plan approved by the village allows for a communal table large enough for eight people — complete with charging stations and USB ports — along with three mounted tables for two along the one wall, and four more seats looking out the windows.
The exterior finish will be made from pinewood.
“It’ll have a café feel,” Sal said. “It’s going to be a place where you can come in and get some tea, a nice bowl of ramen, and be on your way. Like a healthy express option, which there aren’t much of in Babylon Village.”
Sal moved his family from Florida back to Bay Shore this summer to partner with his brother.
“This is what I came home for,” he said.
They hope to start work soon and open later this year.
Top: Salvatore G. Bono outside the future O.G. Ramen place at 14 Railroad Avenue in Babylon, just south of the LIRR station. (Michael White)
from GreaterBayShore 2016: