Hai Y’all ramen spot opens in Carytown

Hai Y’all took over the former Best Friends Forever space.

Where Best Friends Forever once dined, a new restaurant has risen.

Hai Y’all, which serves ramen noodle dishes, among other offerings, is now open for dinner at 2915 W. Cary St.

The new concept is a second restaurant for Andrew Friel, who with a business partner also owns Home Sweet Home at 3433 W. Cary St. further down in Carytown.

For Hai Y’all, they took over the former Best Friends Forever space in June, after its owners Hamooda Shami and Nate Gutierrez closed the location to shift its staff to their Don’t Look Back Triple taco shop location in Scott’s Addition.

“I used to bartend for Hamooda back in the day,” Friel said. “He and I were talking about the space, and things kind of went from there.”

Friel is moving Home Sweet Home chef Sam Hall over to Hai Y’all to oversee the menu and dish preparation.

Photos by J. Elias O’Neal.

Looking to establish its own take on the Japanese dish, Hall said Hai Y’all plans to offer several signature broths, including its Tonkotsu broth made with chicken, pork shanks, seaweed, shitake mushrooms, bacon, carrots, onions and scallions and cooked for nine hours.

Its vegan Miso broth is cooked for 3 hours and is made with seaweed, shittake mushrooms, carrots, ginger, red and white miso. Hall said they’ll be making their own vegan, gluten-free noodles from daikon radishes as an option for patrons.

Hai Y’all also plans to serve dumplings, salads, assorted pickled plates and desserts, and will have a full bar.

The space seats 35, including eight at the bar, Friel said, and is set to open soon for lunch service.

The restaurant is open seven days week from 5 p.m. to midnight.

Familiar with the Carytown dining scene, Friel said he’s confident Hai Y’all will appeal to the neighborhood’s palate.

“There a lot going on in the area, and the people walking around definitely made the location attractive,” Friel said. “We’re just glad to be a part of the area, and bringing something new that we hope people will enjoy.”

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Ken Dance

Looking forward to checking this out. Definitely a concept that was missing in Carytown. Mr. Friel seems to be adding his own unique twists to the area, and with the success of Home Sweet Home I think Richmond is embracing it.