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Notre Dame Football

Jaylon Smith Opening JINYA Ramen Bar in South Bend

April 18, 2023

Former Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith has a new endeavor and it will involve the South Bend community. 

Smith will be opening his first restaurant, JINYA Ramen Bar, on Eddy St. across from the campus of Notre Dame as well as investing in JINYA locations across the country. 

"Joining the restaurant industry and opening a unique take on Japanese cuisine and bringing the ramen culture at my alma mater is the best way I know to give back to that community and reach the future generations that will pass through Notre Dame's campus,” Smith stated. 

JINYA Ramen Bar was founded in 2010 by Tomo Takahashi – named among the country's most influential restaurant CEOs in 2022 by Nation's Restaurant News – has 53 restaurants with multiple new locations in the pipeline. 

What will the menu look like? 

JINYA will focus on kaizen, which is the Japanese practice of continuous improvement. Guests will experience the best ramen with a focus down to the water used to prepare its broth and a special aging process when it comes to the noodles. JINYA is known for its slow-cooked approach to ramen and the menu will also be customizable. 

Founder of JINYA Ramen Bar, Tomo Takahashi, connected with Smith through his business manager, Michael V Ledo, Founder & CEO of RISE Advisors. 

“Jaylon and I dedicated over 12 months to building a solid relationship with JINYA’s leadership; I am confident in their product, process, service, and overall vision,” said Ledo. 

For Takahashi, the business relationship with Smith was a no-brainer. 

“Jaylon is an outstanding NFL player, and one of my personal favorites to watch play the game,” said Takahashi. “We were thrilled that he wanted to partner with JINYA and are looking forward to a successful future together.”

About Jaylon Smith
Smith has been committed to impacting on and off the field with a passion for growing entrepreneurial while elevating his community. A few of the many ways Smith does this is through his Minority Entrepreneurship Institute (MEI), which Smith founded in 2019; his culturally inspired eyewear brand, CEV Collection and through investments with COhatch and EOS Worldwide.

About JINYA Ramen Bar 
For more information, visit and follow JINYA on Facebook: JINYA Ramen Bar

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