As restaurants continue to grapple with the current crisis, New Jersey’s Ani Ramen House has made a bold decision—to NOT offer its popular menu for takeout. Instead, the owners, Montclair Hospitality Group, have launched a short-term nonprofit 501(c)(3) that helps feed first responders, frontline medical staff, and displaced hospitality workers in their communities. They’ve started with their Jersey City location but there’s most definitely more to come.

Thai rotisserie chicken

Bringing ‘Awesome’ to New Heights

“We were heartbroken to have to temporarily close our ramen restaurants and lay off our team due to COVID-19, but we felt our signature ramen just wasn’t ideal for takeout,” said owner Luck Sarabhayavanija. “I was inspired by and am partnering with my childhood friend Mark Bustos, who founded the #BeAwesomeToSomebody movement. Like Mark, we love to serve.” 

Incredibly quickly and with purpose, Sarabhayavanija and Bustos created two pop-up takeout-and-delivery restaurant concepts: Rock City Pizza Co. and Bang Bang Chicken. The restaurants offer Detroit-style pizza (pictured at top) and Thai rotisserie chicken, respectively. When they place their orders, customers have the option to donate a meal for someone in need as part of their order. In fact, the first item on each menu is a discounted meal that customers can purchase as a donation. Support for the restaurants has allowed the business to rehire some of the Ani Ramen staff.

Help Grow the Concepts

The first pop-up is located at the Jersey City restaurant with menus for both concepts, and plans are to expand to the Ani Ramen locations in Montclair, Maplewood, and Summit. To get there, they have launched a Kickstarter campaign asking for support. They even have some celebrity campaign ambassadors. Check it out here.

To place an order or just make a donation to the cause. Visit to learn more.