People’s Noodle Bar Ramen Shop Opens in Former Senor Chicken Space in Columbia Heights

Dear PoPville,

I was walking on Park Rd tonight between 14th and 16th and as I walked by the rotisserie chicken place I saw a chalkboard sign advertising it as “The People’s Noodle Bar”. The inside didn’t look too different and the large sign on the outside of the building still advertises the chicken place. There were a couple of people inside but I didn’t stop in to check out the menu. Looks like they are finally open!

Back in Nov. 2011 a reader first alerted us to the possibility of a People’s Noodle Bar coming to Senor Chicken in Columbia Heights. Since Senor Chicken closed, I had heard that there was a delay in opening because of lease negotiations. Glad somebody has reopened in the space but I’ll be very sad if we lose the Senor Chicken sign

21 Comment

  • This place is soo good! I go there at least once a week. Its a great break from Pho, the craftsmanship that goes into each bowl of Ramen is amazing. I love the fact that this place is low-key… My only concern is that they use paper carry out containers, mine almost fell apart once I got home. Probably the most authentic ramen you can get anywhere near to here, they’re on the end of the block from Pho14, also a great food spot, stoked I don’t have to go to Rockville MD or VA for good Pho and Ramen any more! Rock On.

  • I was there last week. The guy behind the counter was super friendly, was sure to ask if we enjoyed our meal and if there was anything else he could do to improve the experience next time we were there.

  • It seems like a pretty big lapse to skip over the fact the People’s Noodle has been serving Ramen there on Saturdays as a pop-up noodle shop since at least September.

    Perhaps everyone knows that? …It’s not surprising that they’ve inherited the space. Though it certainly would have been disappointing if they’d lost out on a technicality.

    Related…I REALLY want them to start serving their steam bun sandwiches there. People’s Noodle and People’s Bao, the farmers market steam bun sandwich stand, are one in the same.

  • Who ever thought opening a chicken place, 3 doors down from another chicken place, and serving worse chicken at a higher price would be a bad business venture?

  • I was disappointed by the ramen. The broth was oddly oily and it just didn’t have much flavor. They also messed up our order and had to ask us three times what we had ordered and ended up waiting a ridiculously long time. And I had really wanted to like this place 🙁

  • They’ve been running there full time for a few months now. It’s pretty good, but I do miss Senor Chicken.

  • brookland_rez

    I didn’t even know Senor Chicken had closed. I stopped in once and got some fried Yuca.

  • Excellent food and the guy who runs it is extremely nice. It’s a great contrast to Pho14 just a few doors down, which, IMO, serves sub-par pho.

    Also, People’s Noodle Bar has been operating nightly in that space for a couple months now.

  • I really like the food but I hate eating it there. They need to dim the lights and put on some ambient tunes. Now they blast horrible pop toppers and the florescent lights are so bright that I always take it to go. It also can take a very long time. If the place is crowded keep walking or you will be there 40minutes waiting. With some commonsense tweaking this place will do well. And they should start serving the buns they serve at the MTP farmers market too!

  • ledroittiger

    I’ve also heard terrible things about the ramen here. Can someone make a comparison to Toki?

  • I’ve only been here once, and maybe they were having an off night (because I’m surprised by the positive responses), but I thought the food was terrible. Oily, bland broth. I ordered it hot and it wasn’t spicy at all. I went with 2 friends and they disliked it as well. The guys behind the counter were really friendly, though.

    • Hey Now… Everyone likes food a different way, if you get ramen that’s not spicy enough for you, that usually means you didn’t pay attention to the menu when you ordered!

      The food is amazing to me, I always get the People’s Paitain with Pork or Duck.

      I wouldn’t compare this to Toki underground, People’s Noodle Bar is specifically a Ramen shop… Would be nice if they added buns or sushi, but for now It’s the bee’z knees.

  • Nice to see Damon/Nomad is still swapping sandwichboard sign art for food. He’s been doing that for at least 25 years. His style is pretty distinct.

  • Does anyone know if they serve vegetarian ramen? If so, I’m going tonight!

    • They do. There’s a ramen with mushrooms in a mushroom broth! I’ve gotten it before. I come here about every week as week as well and the best is the Paitain pork ramen. There are ramens that include a spoon of oil and those are pretty oily. They’re listed in the ingredients though. You could always ask them to no include the oil.

  • This place is pretty good, and even though it’s a straight shot on the metro from my apartment, I’ve only been once. I’d rather go to Pho 14. Toki Underground on the other hand, I’ve been to a few times and it is absolutely worth the trek to H St.

  • The ramen shop is still a pop-up. We’ve operated everyday for 2 months now.

  • I really am liking the name of the place. I know that’s not the most important thing when “judging” an eatery but it’s not trying to be cutesy (case in point: Thai Tanic; I’m not criticizing the place, just the too-cutesy name). Anyway, I love the warmth and down-home feeling that the name brings forward and rings of community, comfort and welcome. Once inside, it sounds as if the owners are repeating that sense of community warmth and welcome – nice! Looking forward to going to the place.

  • pork buns, some select dim sum (shrimp?) and those yummy New Year’s bean cakes, please.

  • I got noodles to go. When I got home I was not pleased to observe that the broth and noodles had melted through the bottom and there was about 4 inches of oily broth in my dripping bag. I salvaged what I could and ate it. It was okay, and then I got diarrhea.

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