The chef behind a popular hospital cafe-turned-ramen bar is moving on. Chef Coby Smith announced via Instagram that he has left Arkansas Heart Hospital in Little Rock, the subject of FSD’s August Foodservice Operator of the Month.
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I’m no longer @ the Heart. It Is something that was built together. It was always a labor love for me. Making people happy. So follow @ahh_ramen to get updates. I love all of you. Keep following @cobyramen great things are coming. Thank you to all the #ramenheads out there for the love and support.
Authentic ramen for a low price often meant long customer lines at Coby’s Cafe, the hospital cafe named after the chef himself.
“We wanted to get our name out there, and show people we’re a hospital that thinks outside the box,” Smith told FSD in August. “I don’t think anyone could have predicted it’d be so popular that we’d have parking problems on ramen days.”
Smith told Rock City Eats that his departure was a planned, voluntary one and that he’d have an announcement about his future very soon.
Arkansas Heart Hospital will continue to offer the ramen bar on Monday, Wednesday and Friday as it did before, but in a cafe now called Murphy Cafe, according to the hospital’s Instagram page, @arheartcafe. The hospital has also indicated via Instagram, after several concerned comments, that its popular ramen recipe will remain unchanged.
Photographs courtesy of Arkansas Heart Hospital