When Penny Mohr immigrated to the United States in 2011, she knew she wished to be in a kitchen.
Her cousin had just lately opened many Japanese places to eat in Chicago, so she received to function encouraging him and mastering each probable task – server, host, cook, dishwasher, supervisor and, 11 several years afterwards, owner.
Penny and her partner, Chris Mohr, opened Tomo Japanese Road Foods in Evanston on April 19, with a line stretching down Sherman Avenue. They have been perfecting their ramen recipe through the several years, commencing at the Forum55 Food items Hall in Chicago in 2018. Due to COVID-19, the food items corridor shut down, and the Mohrs produced the choice to open up their have spot.
Penny Mohr, who is Thai, claims her 2nd-favorite food stuff (Thai currently being first, of program) is Japanese. She has been cooking distinctive forms of Asian delicacies given that she was 11 yrs aged, but she mentioned she’s normally been drawn to Japanese lifestyle and foods. Immediately after she and Chris took a trip to Japan prior to the pandemic, they both of those agreed they desired to build a cafe comparable to the Japanese road foodstuff they savored while abroad.
“We just wanted to have anything far more everyday, just a position to arrive and get your ramen and view Electric power Rangers or anime,” Chris Mohr mentioned.
When deciding to open up Tomo at 1726 Shermann Ave., Chris claimed he and Penny carefully viewed the foot traffic in the Evanston cafe scene. They struggled to come across a everyday to-go position around Northwestern College that was open after 7 p.m., so they made the decision they would rent the empty place on Sherman Avenue next door to Kilwins and faucet into the Northwestern college student audience.
Chris reported Tomo hopes to get a liquor license and host karaoke as properly. The menu will be expanding as they employ the service of and teach a lot more workers, as will the several hours, which are now 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. but improve to 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. starting on May well 1.
They say their karaage curry rice (a curry rice bowl topped with fried chicken), lava takoyaki (fried octopus dumplings topped with spicy mayo and masago) and curry udon (udon noodles with do-it-yourself beef curry) have been between the most well-liked menu things.
Although summer season is speedy approaching, Penny Mohr mentioned she’s certain their residence-designed ramen will just take around as the most well-liked product when temperatures fall in the drop.
Even even though there is nonetheless extra do the job to do, Penny Mohr reported her lifelong aspiration of opening up her own cafe feels a little bit considerably less stressful now.
“It’s not uncomplicated to work in a restaurant and I was stressed with this spot,” she said. “After the initial working day and all of the folks that came, I have no tension.”