Atlanta’s glow-in-the-dark ramen pop-up, Nakamura.ke, gets a second location

Nakamura.ke is heading to Paris on Ponce

Nakamura.ke glow-in-the-dark ramen pop-up Atlanta Paris on Ponce
The Nakamura.ke pop-up is coming to Paris on Ponce.

Photograph by Zoo as Zoo courtesy of Dashboard

Missed your chance at snagging a seat at Nakamura.ke the otherworldly glow-in-the-dark ramen pop-up debuting on Edgewood Avenue at the end of the month? You aren’t alone—the bulk of tickets for the seated, six-person dinners at Sound Table sold out in within a week. But after a surge of interest from lumen-curious Atlantans, organizers Dashboard and their creative partners have decided to extend the pop-up’s stay in Atlanta—at a totally different location, no less.

After the Edgewood Avenue pop-up ends on February 16, Nakamura.ke will pack up and move to Paris on Ponce, where it will host its first dinner on February 20. The relocation also marks a shift in theme: both pop-ups will also include a secondary after-hours event, with $10 tickets are available at the door, but while Edgewood’s “Night Parades of the Benevolent Demons” after-party at Space2 will have an energetic nightlife vibe (complete with a DJ lineup curated by Sound Table owner Karl Injex), Paris on Ponce’s “House Spirits of the Enchanted Zashiki” will feel a little more like an intimate evening inside the fictional Nakamura family’s own home. (To recap: the story behind the pop-up revolves around the tale of the Nakamuras, a family of folkloric Japanese spirits, or yōkai, who lose their parents in a storm and roam the globe searching for them and serving their family ramen recipe.)

Courtney Hammond, Dashboard cofounder, describes the vibe of the Paris on Ponce location as an “enchanted living room,” inhabited by the Nakamura family members and also by a mischievous, cake-eating yōkai spirit. As such, the a la carte menu at “House Spirits” will be more dessert-focused than the late-night finger foods at “Night Parades,” with lumen desserts designed by pastry chef Taria Camerino (formerly of Sugar-Coated Radical, Golden Eagle, Ladybird, and Muchacho) and created in partnership with the bakery at 8Arm.

The creators also made another big announcement: 8Arm’s Nhan Le will serve as Nakamura.ke’s executive chef, working in tandem with [London-based culinary events studio] Bompas & Parr to develop the dishes. “They are working in symphony so that the dishes are delicious and homemade by this incredible chef, with this lumen component that Bompass & Parr is so specifically good at,” Hammond explains. “Nhan is making sure everything is perfect, consistent, and artful.”

Nakamura.ke glow-in-the-dark ramen pop-up Atlanta Paris on Ponce

Photograph by Zoo as Zoo courtesy of Dashboard

While the self-contained dining space (which takes up two parking spaces and only seats six diners at a time) will be located just outside Paris on Ponce’s loading dock, the nightly after-dinner “House Spirits” parties will take over about half of the sprawling store’s 46,000 square feet, which will be redesigned by artists from Dashboard and Zoo as Zoo. “They’ll be riffing off of the fact that Paris on Ponce is an immersive living environment, but this will be a magical twist on it,” Hammond says. She describes the experience as another peek inside the Nakamura family’s story. “You could go to both and have a totally unique experience at each, so it’s like a second helping in that way,” Hammond says.

It’s also, Hammond adds, a way to make the event more accessible to more Atlantans: while the actual dinners themselves will again be limited to only 600 ticket-holders (and the remaining $75 tickets will likely sell out in an instant—Dashboard released an early round of tickets to its mailing list on January 7), you won’t need a dinner reservation to nibble glow-in-the-dark snacks at the after-parties, which will run nightly from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets to those are available for $10 at the door each night Nakamura.ke is open. (Dinner ticket-holders get free entry to the after-dinner experiences.)

Hammond describes the initial sell-out as “a happy surprise,” and adds that she and the other collaborators behind the event are thrilled about the early response from the public. “I think it shows there’s a ton of curious people here with good taste, and a super high demand for unconventional artistry and avante garde, over-the-top events,” she says. “As native Atlantans at Dash, we share that sentiment. We’re into it. Let’s party.”

Want to go? Remaining tickets to the Paris on Ponce dinners are available here. [Update 3:10 p.m., January 8: Seated dinner tickets are now sold out.]

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