Doc Chey's Noodle House at Emory Village becoming Dragon Bowl.
Doc Chey's Dragon Bowl will open later this summer in place of Doc Chey's Noodle House on North Decatur Road at Emory Village. Dragon Bowl will sport a menu similar to its predecessor, but with new proteins like ribeye steak and pork belly. Dragon Bowl will offer six sauce options, four base options and four protein options. The menu will also have a variety of rotating specials as well as a few side and beverage options. Sides will include kimchi dumplings while beverage options will include assorted teas, beers, sake and wine.
Although it's perhaps too soon to make the comparison, Dragon Bowl definitely shares some menu similarities with ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen. ShopHouse was launched by Chipotle Mexican Grill in 2011, and today has grown to six locations in Maryland, Washington D.C., and California. Dragon Bowl, like ShopHouse, offers plenty of customization, but overall has fewer options to choose from than a typical "noodle house." Personally, I see both concepts as being ahead of the curve. There is something to be said for doing one thing really well versus having so many food items on your menu. Although some may disagree, I don't think it's essential to have something for everyone. If you run a burger joint, must you also have BBQ, fried fish and smoothies?
Doc Chey's specialty is Asian cuisine and Dragon Bowl seems primed to be a perfect brand extension of the existing concept.
Doc Chey's has been an Emory Village landmark since it opened in 1999. Most recently, would-be competitor Tin Drum Asiacafe closed its location at Emory Village after a little over a year in operation. Current plans call for Doc Chey's Noodle House to close for a few weeks over the summer to complete the transition.
Dragon Bowl will still accept Doc Chey's popular Karma Card.
I met with Doc Chey's founder Rich Chey who spoke candidly about the new concept. Chey said there are currently no plans to expand the concept, but if proven successful, additional locations may be considered in the future. If you find yourself craving the original Doc Chey's Noodle House experience, Chey was quick to point out that the Morningside location is a mere 1.8 miles from the Emory Village restaurant. There are also Doc Chey's Noodle Houses in Grant Park and Asheville, North Carolina. Chey's HomeGrown restaurant group also operates Osteria 832 in Virginia-Highland.