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Tajima To Land In University Heights

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Tajima continues to expand in San Diego.

Tajima Ramen Bar continues to grow its noodle empire, having just tacked on a fourth locale in San Diego.

The Kearny Mesa-based ramen house and izakaya inked a deal for 1,460 square feet at 3015 Adams Ave. Due to a deep renovation of the space, expect an opening in late 2015 or early 2016.

Its newest location opened in Hillcrest last summer, serving up a menu of ramen and rice bowls.

The University Heights outpost will most resemble the Hillcrest location, in terms of size, design and limited alcohol options (beer and wine only). There the clean and modern bar gets packed for lunch and dinner, seating about 45 and a handful at the bar. The original Kearny Mesa spots on Convoy and Mercury are bigger, will full liquor bars.

Gateway Financial broker James Pieri, who represents the Japanese eatery, says the lease will trigger a needed renovation of the Adams Avenue space, calling the long-vacant industrial building "an eyesore" for the community.

The landlord will do facade and infrastructure improvements, he says, and the ramen shop will pour $500,000 into its small space.

To capitalize on its 20-foot ceilings, he says, doors could go the garage roll-up route or have a sliding style that mirror mansions in Rancho Santa Fe. All furniture will be custom built.

The ramen shop will be joined by another to-be-announced restaurant in the same building. That tenant, expected to be named in coming weeks, will take the balance of the 4,000 square feet, or about 2,500 square feet.

Each opening is far off; the landlord will deliver the space in six months and Tajima's grand opening is nine months out. Bill Shrader, David Maxwell and Joe Brady of Colliers International's Urban Property Group represented ownership and repositioned the property as a restaurant space.

Pieri credits his client's quick expansion to the fact it's strayed from the trendy noodle craze in San Diego and instead focuses on authentic recipes.

The search for its fourth space took about six months. Major retail malls were considered, as were Little Italy, East Village and Bankers Hill. The corner of 30th and Adams was the right fit because of the dense revitalization of new restaurants there, he says, counting 10 in a two-block radius.

He's already looking for Tajima's fifth location, with a focus on the North County area--possibly in Mira Mesa--for a 2016 opening.