Sweet Chili 2 building mug

The former site of Sweet Chili 2 Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, in Bozeman.

SC2 Natural Kitchen on the west side of Bozeman has closed its doors, and the space it was in will be filled by an ramen restaurant with an original location in Helena.

Fei Qiu and her husband Jian Zhang opened SC2 at 867 S. 29th Ave in 2014, and also own Sweet Chili Asian Bistro downtown. SC2 was a more casual restaurant than Sweet Chili, serving up customizable bowls in the vein of Chipotle or Five on Black.

Qiu and Zhang’s office manager said the closure was due in part to high rent. The two also wanted to be able to put more attention into the original location, which is more centrally located and generally busier than SC2 was. There are no plans to close Sweet Chili Asian Bistro, she said.

The space that SC2 rented has been taken over by Hakkaido Ramen House. Hakkaido is owned by Tom Cai, who has opened several restaurants across the state and one in Oregon. Bozeman’s Hakkaido location has an opening tentatively scheduled for Dec. 18.

John Schneider, the general manager of Hakkaido in Helena, said the new location will be fast-casual dining with the same recipes used at the restaurant in Helena.

“Just because we’re in Montana doesn’t mean you can’t get really high quality, authentic ramen,” he said.

The restaurant will be different from the Helena location, which Schneider said is more of a sit down restaurant. That location has a sushi bar and a beer, wine and sake bar, while the Bozeman location will focus more on the hot entrees and ramen.

“The location is built more like a Panda Express as opposed to (a sit down) restaurant,” he said. “That’s the main thing that they’re going for: still the exact same recipes, very very similar menu, just a little bit more streamlined.”

Melissa Loveridge can be reached at mloveridge@dailychronicle.com or at (406) 582-2651.

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