Smoothie bowls and juices are out and dumplings and noodles are in at a Carytown storefront.
Dumpling & Noodle Cart is preparing to open at 3321 W. Cary St., a space that until this summer had been home to local juice bar The Pit and the Peel.
The new restaurant marks Choega Dhondup’s jump from running a food truck to a brick-and-mortar restaurant.
Dhondup first rolled out his concept in 2018, serving pan-fried pork dumplings, cold noodle dishes and hot buns from a food cart near VCU’s Monroe Park campus.
“I didn’t see too many dumpling spots, other than a couple of Thai restaurants,” Dhondup said.
Despite being a permanent location, Dhondup said he’s keeping “Cart” in the restaurant’s name.
“It’ll be ‘Dumpling & Noodle Cart.’ A lot of customers know the name. So, I don’t want to change it,” he said.
The menu will remain mostly unchanged, with dumpling dishes ranging from around $3 to $6.
“We might add a couple of veggie and shrimp dumplings,” Dhondup said. He added that the restaurant will have counter service and focus on takeout, with seating for around 15.
Dhondup said he’s looking to open the space in November. He now has two food carts that he said he’ll keep operating after the restaurant opens.
Dumpling & Noodle Cart will be the second dumpling-focused restaurant to open locally in recent years, joining Got Dumplings, which expanded from Charlottesville to Richmond last year.
The Pit and the Peel had vacated the Carytown space in favor of a new spot in Westhampton Commons near Libbie and Patterson avenues.
Craig Brosius, co-owner of The Pit and the Peel, said they ran into permitting delays and are now looking to open in the West End development within about two months.