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Menu Talk with Pat and Bret

Lane Li shares her journey from Smorgasburg to brick-and-mortar restaurant

The chef and owner of Noodle Lane in Brooklyn has advice for other hospitality newcomers


Lane Li is the chef and owner of Noodle Lane, which opened earlier this year in the Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhood of Park Slope. Li was born in China but her family immigrated to New York City, where they already had relatives, when she was a child. She worked in finance for many years before her love for food led her to set up a stand at the weekly open-air food festival Smorgasburg. Her dan dan noodles in particular were a big success, and she decided to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant near her home.

It will be a surprise to no one in the industry that opening Noodle Lane was a lot harder than Li expected, but she persevered and is now serving dumplings (including soup dumplings because they’re her son’s favorite), noodles, stir-fried dishes, stews and more for lunch and dinner, with brunch coming soon.

Li recently shared her experience of opening her first restaurant, the challenges she faced, and advice for other new restaurateurs.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

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