Glow-in-the-Dark Ramen Is Atlanta's Hippest New Delicacy

Huge helps build a colorful dining experience

The newest experiential pop-up restaurant in Atlanta is getting glowing reviews, naturally, as the food itself is pretty luminous. 

Nakamura.ke, the world's first glow-in-the-dark pop-up ramen shop, opened on Jan. 30 and will stay up through Feb. 16. It offers a dinner-theater experience combining storytelling, art and folklore—all inspired by mythical Japanese creatures called yokai, who serve bioluminescent ramen in the underworld.  

The idea was dreamed up—apparently literally—by Ami Sueki, a former industrial designer for Coca-Cola who recently founded avant-garde design studio Zoo as Zoo. She teamed up with Courtney Hammond, co-founder of Atlanta-based creative agency Dashboard, to bring it to life. 

Huge also got involved as a creative technology partner, and created two key pieces of the in-store experience. 

The first is a set of three 50-inch interactive portraits of the wait staff, which diners can interact with: 

Nakamura.ke | Living Portraits

The second is a 50-page blacklight AR-enabled zine containing the menu, credits and program for the experience: 

"Working with Zoo as Zoo to launch this new restaurant was a natural partnership for us," says Derek Fridman, chief design officer at Huge. "We have a rich history of creating immersive experiences through technology in order to facilitate richer, more meaningful interactions for people, and exploring a new application for this type of work was something that we jumped at." 

The pop-up's current run is sold out, but Nakamura.ke is planning other stops in Los Angeles, London, Miami, New York, Tokyo and Seoul. 

CREDITS

Dashboard US: Nakamura.ke Founder, Managing Partner 
Zoo as Zoo: Nakamura.ke Founder, Chief Creative
Bompas & Parr: Nakamura.ke Lumen Menu Developer
8 arm: Chef/Owner, Nhan Le, Nakamura.ke Executive Chef 
the Sound Table: DJ/Owner, Karl Injex Nakamura.ke Sound Curator
Taria Camerino: Chef / House Spirits Desserts @ Enchanted Zashiki
Frank Nitty: Designer / Animator
Huge Inc: Tech partner 
NinePound: Nakamura.ke Mobile Kitchen Fabricator

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and the founding editor of Muse by Clio.

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