The building has a fresh coat of exterior paint. The new signage is in place. The inside has been scrubbed, and scrubbed some more.
Shoki Ramen House, pending a few last-minute logistical details, is poised to open within two weeks, according to its owners, taking over the old Trails Restaurant building on 21st Street near Broadway.
Shoki catapulted into the foodie limelight in 2007 when it opened its original location in Curtis Park at 24th Street and Second Avenue in a tiny, ramshackle building. It later launched another eatery on R Street. Its latest move was big news, as the new site is the former home of a historic Sacramento eatery that in recent years had fallen on hard times.
Shoki’s owners, Yasushi and Kathy Ueyama, pledged to maintain much of the look and charm of Trails, including keeping the large neon sign out front. Shoki’s smaller signs have been placed on two sides of the building. The fresh paint on the outside is the same dark brown that Trails used. The aluminum awnings are still there, too.
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Trails opened in 1952 amid plenty of fanfare. The original owners were the great movie and swimming star Esther Williams and her husband, Ben Gage. It was common to see lines out the door. The big draw was the $3 steak dinner. Gin Wong became Trails’ third owner in 1979, and he ran the restaurant until he sold it in 2014.
The final Health Department inspection for the new Shoki is expected this week, and the menu is being finalized, said Kathy Ueyama, whose husband, Yasushi, is the chef whose ramen is revered by many. We’ll keep you posted when Shoki has an opening day to announce.