As WSU Tech prepares to open its culinary school in the former Henry’s building in August, developer Sudha Tokala is proceeding with plans for a food hall and event center there as well.
She’s added a fourth floor to the 1948 building at the northeast corner of William and Broadway where the 500-person event center will be with 4,000 square feet of indoor space and another 4,000 square feet outside.
WSU is taking more than 80% of the building, which will include a 5,000-square-foot demonstration kitchen and offices on the second floor and 15,000 square feet of teaching, banquet and baking kitchens, conference rooms and classrooms on the third floor. The basement also will have a commercial kitchen, a student lounge, more offices and storage, including cold storage.
A food hall will go on the first floor with four restaurants.
The first two will be a Jinya Ramen Bar franchise and BVI Bistro, which the school will run.
Jinya is a Los Angeles-based company that boasts a “slow-cooked approach to ramen, made from broths simmered for 20 hours in-house,” according to its website.
There are also small plates on the menu, with dishes such as dumplings and mini tacos, and there’s craft beer as well.
However, ramen is the focus. The chain, which describes its spaces as sleek, has a saying: “No ramen, no life.”
BVI Bistro will offer a different flavor.
John Michael, director of culinary and hospitality for the new school, said the restaurant will have a pizza oven for flatbread and also offer charcuterie and cheese boards plus soups and salads.
Michael said he anticipates that initially BVI will be open for lunch only but eventually will add dinner. It will be staffed by students in the program.
Look for both restaurants to open this fall.