Zug, 08.06.2021

With jazz, art and noodle soup

Instead of on the Bundesplatz, Kevin Taró Bicker now welcomes his guests in the Grand Café in Zug. At the new location, the 29-year-old also wants to continue to impress his customers with well thought-out design and a classic of Japanese cuisine.

Zug, Bahnhofstrasse 22, the day after the opening. The three guests at Table 1 have paid and are getting ready to leave when the young man in white sneakers and with a flat cap on his head squats in front of them: "It’s great that you were here. And you’re welcome to come by in the evening. I’d be really happy."

Contact with people is very important to him, says Kevin Bicker a little later, as he leans far back in the yellow-upholstered sofa on which he has just taken a seat. Now that the lunch business is over, he has time to talk about the "Raijin Ramen"; the new restaurant in the rear part of the Grand Café on the Bahnhofstrasse in Zug. Kevin Bicker, who prefers to be called by his Japanese name Taró, has only been the host here for a few hours; the "Raijin Ramen" opened on 1 June just in time for the next easing of corona measures, after having previously been based on Bundesplatz for several months.

The host lived in Japan as a child
But even in the new premises, Taró remains true to himself, and doesnt want to offer the audience a service, but an experience. "Anyone who comes to 'Raijin Ramen' should be able to forget their everyday life for the time they are here," says Taró, the son of a Japanese woman and a Swiss man, and who lived in the Japanese metropolis of Kyoto until he was six years old before coming to Zug. Taró adds:

"You should feel at home, just like in a lounge, but with a Japanese flair."

Kevin Taró Bicker is the host at the «Raijin Ramen» in Zug
Picture: Matthias Jurt (Zug, 2 June 2021)

There are sofas throughout the guest area, and small tube TVs are used for decoration, as well as baskets and lanterns with Japanese characters hanging from the ceiling. The interior is intended to reflect Taró's personality. The 29-year-old does not see himself primarily as a restaurateur, but much more as an aesthete who values design and wants to pass on his penchant for art and music. Be it with the jazz paying from the speakers, or with the pictures on the walls that he painted himself.

Trend ‘ramen’ street food in Zug
Away from the interior, towards the culinary: here, Taró wants to his customers to enjoy a classic of Japanese street food, namely ‘ramen’. This noodle soup has been in vogue in Europe for some time, and Taró believes this could also be the case in Zug, where he hopes it will arouse great interest:

"Zug is a melting pot of different nations. Our offer will hopefully be well received by the international community, but it is, of course, also aimed at the original Zug residents."

The "Raijin Ramen" is located in the rear part of the Grand Café Zug. On request, Pascal Nussbaumer, one of the three owners of the Grand Café, says that the cooperation with Taró has been a stroke of luck. The balancing act of running a café during the day, a restaurant earlier in the evening, and a bar later in the late evening was not always easy for the Grand Café,: "So we were looking for someone innovative for the food sector. We’ve certainly found this with Taró," says Nussbaumer, who underlines that, despite the new, Asian flair:

"The GC was and is known for its canapés. If anyone fears that we will no longer offer them with the new food concept, I can reassure him or her: Saturday will continue to be Canapé Day in the future."