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Three bowls of ramen lined up in a row. The white bowls are emblazoned with the Otaku Ramen logo in red Otaku Ramen/Facebook

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Otaku Ramen Opens Its First Location in Franklin

Plus: Chef Andy Little of Josephine finds a new home, a sweet pop-up downtown, and more

Jackie Gutierrez-Jones is the editor of Eater Nashville. She has over a decade of experience writing, editing, and leading content teams in the food, drink, travel, and tech space.

Local Nashville ramen empire, Otaku Ramen, has expanded down south with a new location that officially opened this past Saturday, February 11 at the Factory in Franklin (230 Franklin Road, suite 11-T). This is the fourth location of Otaku Ramen from chef/owner Sarah Gavigan, but the first for Williamson County.

The Franklin menu features favorites from Otaku’s other Nashville locations like the hot chicken bun, the Tennessee tonkotsu ramen, and a new drink menu that includes beer, sake, batch cocktails, frozen drinks, and boba.

Otaku Franklin has walk-in seating, but you can also place orders to-go or for delivery Monday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The new Factory location will run daily happy hour specials from 4 to 6 p.m.

Chef Andy Little joins the Strategic Hospitality team

Last week, Strategic Hospitality announced that chef Andy Little would join the hospitality group’s team as its director of culinary operations. Little, who made headways in Nashville as the head chef and culinary force of Josephine in 12 South, received two James Beard Award semifinalist nods in his time there.

Known for his unique blend of Pennsylvania Dutch cooking and Southern hospitality, Little will provide mentorship and education to the team while steering operational guidelines for new and existing projects at the Nashville-based hospitality group. Strategic Hospitality’s portfolio also includes Bastion, Kisser, Locust, the Patterson House, and the Catbird Seat among others.

Reservations open for the Sweet Spot dessert pop-up at JW Marriott

Save room for dessert this week — the JW Marriott Nashville is back with another over-the-top pop-up right in time for Valentine’s Day. This one makes use of the hotel’s discretely hidden cocktail lounge, the Duke, and transforms it into a rose-strewn love nest with candlelight, plush seating, a stately fireplace, a 10-foot glass chandelier, and a floor-to-ceiling crystal curio cabinet. You’ll be treated to a Ferris wheel loaded with various desserts by executive pastry chef Daniel Mangione including berry chocolate cheesecake pops, Nutella chocolate pudding, caramelized lemon chocolate yuzu, and more.

The experience runs through Saturday, February 17, and takes place every night from 6 to 10 p.m. Reservations start at $30 per table (for a table of two) and can be made here. Champagne and themed cocktails are available for purchase separately.

Speaking of pop-ups…

Noelle has one of its own with a Wonderland-themed pop-up running from February 13 to May 31. The hotel has taken on Alice in Wonderland with three drink and dining experiences throughout the entire lower level. Included in the activations: a Down the Rabbit Hole brunch and dinner at Makeready L&L, the weekend-only Mad Hatter Tea with specialty cocktails and high tea service, and the Queen of Hearts pop-up cocktail party at Noelle’s speakeasy, Hidden Bar. Reservations for Down the Rabbit Hole and the Mad Hatter Tea can be made here. However, the Queen of Hearts bar experience is first-come, first-serve.

Don’t call it a pop-up: Stable Reserve hosts a dumpling pop-in

No hard-to-nab reservations are needed for this one: Stable Reserve is hosting a dumpling pop-in at its Main Street tasting room down in Franklin on February 14. Stable Reserve’s director of food and beverage, chef Marcus Gray (formerly a sous chef at Southall Farm & Inn), will create handmade dumplings along with complementary slaws and sauces starting at 5 p.m. The Stable Reserve team will also be on hand preparing specialty cocktails and drinks to pair with the dumplings.

Hidden Bar at Noelle

200 4th Avenue North, , TN 37219 Visit Website

Noelle, Nashville, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel

200 4th Avenue North, , TN 37219 (615) 649-5000 Visit Website

Josephine

2316 12th Avenue South, , TN 37204 (615) 292-7766 Visit Website

JW Marriott Nashville

201 8th Avenue South, , TN 37203 (615) 291-8600 Visit Website

Otaku Ramen

1104 Division Street, , TN 37203 (615) 942-8281 Visit Website