WASHINGTON -- The long wait is finally over. In news that will surprise few people, the popular international noodle chain Wagamama has finally announced that it will not open a location in the nation's capital, after years of delays and broken promises that it would set up shop on 7th Street NW in Penn Quarter.
Washington City Paper reported Thursday that Wagamama didn't offer much of an explanation why it finally decided to not open a spot in D.C., except that it would concentrate its U.S. expansion in Boston, where it already has locations.
Talk of a D.C. location dates back to 2008.
This March, the London-based chain said it would finally open its D.C. location this fall, the first of a handful of locations in the Washington-Baltimore region.In a March blog post, HuffPost blogger Sam Carman perfectly captured the anticipation for Wagamama's opening and disappointment when the opening date in the window was periodically pushed back:
Surely I am not the first to notice the parallel between the failure of the London-based Asian noodle restaurant to arrive in Penn Quarter and Samuel Beckett's theatrical representation of existential despair?
True, Beckett's play concerns two tramps in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, whereas Penn Quarter is a bustling restaurant and theater district anchored by a sports arena. And yes, the subject of Beckett's play is a mysteriously absent figure who may or may not represent God, whereas Wagamama is an Asian noodle chain famous for its chicken katsu curry.
But if you set those differences aside, the parallel between Waiting for Godot and Wagamama's long-delayed arrival in Washington is striking: In both cases, a much-anticipated visitor's interminably delayed arrival deprives those in waiting of spiritual fulfillment.
Now, there is closure.
As Prince of Petworth points out, the Daikaya Ramen Shop still plans to open up nearby.