Mugen Noodle Bar
Mugen is the Japanese word for both infinity and dreams/fantasy. In May 2019, co-owners Michael Phillips and Panuwat “Tay” Prosertyitin followed their dreams and opened Mugen Noodle Bar to bring authentic ramen cuisine to Tigard. As the driving force behind the restaurant, Tay and his family developed the unique recipes that comprise Mugen Noodle Bar’s menu. Tay enjoys interacting with customers, talking about the food and hearing their thoughts about his recipes. While most ramen restaurants serve a Tonkotsu or pork broth, Mugen stands apart by serving a Tori paitan broth (Japanese for chicken broth) that gives their ramen a richer, creamier flavor. Mugen’s small space has a lively atmosphere, designed to mimic the feel of an authentic Japanese ramen restaurant and accentuated by a anime-style mural depicting local landmarks.
Forced to shut their doors due to COVID-19, Mugen Noodle Bar is unable to provide the dining experience their bar space is designed to provide. The owners’ biggest concern throughout the pandemic has been their employees. “We really want to keep operating because of our employees,” Michael says. “Even though we would save money by closing down until everything opens back up, we want our employees to be able to afford to live.” Mugen has quickly transitioned to take-out and delivery service. In a show of community support, they are also offering free kids meals to help local youth who are no longer able to eat free school meals, and plan to begin serving 15 free entrees every Wednesday for people who have recently lost their jobs.
With sales down roughly 70 percent, Mugen Noodle Bar was awarded a small grant through Tigard CARES to help with payroll and operating expenses. “We really appreciate the City of Tigard assisting small businesses,” says Michael. “We just opened in May 2019 and hope to be open for as long as we can.”
To learn more about Mugen Noodle Bar, visit www.mugennoodlebar.com.