COVID-19 and social-distancing measures are forcing some owners of tiny noodle diners to choose between pushing up prices or pulling down their shutters.

The pandemic is upending a finely balanced business model that depends on serving quick, cheap fare to customers eating elbow-to-elbow.

While some proprietors are finally embracing the need to get creative with pricing, there are others who would rather close up shop than force their regulars to swallow a more expensive bowl of ramen.