Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout with information about the new Dallas restaurant and its opening date.
Monkey King Noodle Co. will open its relocated restaurant a mere 348 feet away from its original no-seats shack in Deep Ellum. You can sample the restaurant's noodle soups and dumplings starting Thursday, July 7.
Is it too hot to be talking about soup? Maybe. But you can bet customers will still line up in the summer heat. In a 2014 restaurant review, special contributor Kim Pierce called the handmade noodles "excellent."
The new Monkey King Noodle Co. restaurant at 2933 Main Street is the company's first sit-down restaurant. There will even be indoor bathrooms. It's a big change from the original Monkey King down the street, where customers huddled on curbs and in the back of their cars, slurping its delicious soups without a real seat.
In fact, operators at the original Monkey King at 3014 Main Street never intended to sell food in the first place. Managing Partner Andrew Chen and his team leased the space as a commissary for a dreamt-about food truck. But then, "people started showing up," he says.
"And we realized, 'I don't want to drive around with 100 gallons of soup in July in Texas.'" So they treated the teeny existing store "like a food truck," he says -- an immobile one. It quickly became popular, with long lines.
Monkey King is undergoing a major expansion this year, as its first out-of-Dallas shop is expected to open in Carrollton this fall.
Both restaurants will serve the same, expanded menu of noodle soups, stir fried dishes, potstickers and dumplings.
The Deep Ellum shop will sell beer and wine and will no longer close between lunch and dinner. Hours will be Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
And what will come of the original Monkey King shack? It'll transition into Monkey King Banana Stand, a dessert shop.
Monkey King Banana Stand is named as an homage to the TV show Arrested Development.
It's slated to open after the new Deep Ellum restaurant does in 2016.
The new shop will focus on ice creams and Asian pastries such as mochi and egg tarts.
"In keeping with our theme, we want to keep the menu limited and do what we do best," Chen says.