Creating a restaurant is so much more than picking popular menu items.
If you want a restaurant that people talk about, post about or recommend to their friends, you have to be a restaurant that anticipates and exceeds everything a guest could possibly want. And that includes the atmosphere you create inside.
When we started to create the unique Noodle Bar PHX experience, we decided on one thing that was the most important theme to always go back to: openness.
When you enter our restaurant, the first thing you notice is how open everything is. Immediately, you have a full view of the entire place — you can see the chefs working on your favorite ramen or pasta, as well as each staff member walking around engaging with all our guests. That first impression was completely intentional. We wanted to encourage our guests to be open with each other and with us. There’s nothing more rewarding on a busy night than watching people talk to the table next to them, swapping recommendations and and stories about places in downtown Phoenix. It’s a tiny little community that’s different every night.
We also knew this kind of openness and constant conversation wouldn’t always work for the lunch crowd. Sometimes people just need to come in, enjoy a quiet, quality meal and leave before their lunch break is over. We wanted them to feel just as welcome in our restaurant, so we created a section of Noodle Bar PHX with them in mind.
We lined the restaurant with high-top tables that faced outward so that people could enjoy a quiet space while taking in a beautiful view of the city. It’s not completely separate, but there’s enough of a barrier that if you didn’t want to talk to anyone else or just wanted to enjoy a good book, this is a place you could do that.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the menu isn’t important. We work hard every day to make sure people rave about our noodles. But we were confident that would come. When you care about quality as much as we do, it’s difficult not to create something delicious. What we couldn’t plan for was the atmosphere. That was something we had to build with our guests.
Luckily for us, the plan to keep things open and encourage a small community of noodle lovers around Phoenix was the right choice. Time and time again, people comment on our Instagram or Yelp or just let us know in the restaurant how much they appreciate the open atmosphere. They not only have a delicious meal when they visit us, but they have a fun time too. There’s nothing better for us to hear!