FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Chikaranomoto Co., which runs the popular Hakata Ippudo chain of ramen restaurants across Japan, plans to open a New York branch later this year, company officials said Tuesday.

The company, which has secured ground floor retail space totaling about 260 sq. meters in Manhattan’s East Village, plans to offer the classic Hakata-style “tonkotsu” (pork broth) ramen and other menu items almost identical to those served in Japan, they said.

The Manhattan restaurant, with about 80 seats, will also be called Hakata Ippudo. It will offer the “kaedama” (extra helping of noodles in the same broth) service, a tradition said to have originated in ramen shops in Hakata, Fukuoka Prefecture.

The company aims for annual sales of 300 million yen to 400 million yen (about $2.4 million to $3.2 million).

The mainstay ramen dishes will be priced at $10 to $12. The restaurant also plans to offer a ramen-inspired Japanese menu.

The company, which runs 33 Hakata Ippudo outlets in Japan, had been planning to make its New York debut from around 2000, but it delayed the plan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“We want Japan’s ramen culture to take root around the world,” a company official said.

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