RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Dumpling & Noodle Cart, a popular Richmond food truck, will be opening a restaurant of the same name in Carytown later this year.

Owner, Choega Dhondup, started his food truck business in 2018 after seeing other food trucks in multiple locations across Virginia and feeling inspired.

“I wanted to start one myself,” he said.

Moving from Charlottesville to Richmond, Dhondup began regularly operating his food truck near VCU’s campus and Monroe Park.

(Photo courtesy of Choega Dhondup)

Dhondup told 8News his partner, Thupten Tagatsang, was responsible for the food truck’s menu and the unique twist on Chinese dumplings and noodles.

“It’s different to the traditional Chinese restaurant experience in Richmond,” Dhondup said. “Unique dumplings and a special sauce.”

(Photo courtesy of Choega Dhondup)

In 2020, the food truck’s growing success was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I had to close for almost two years because of COVID,” Dhondup said.

During that time, Dhondup said he began thinking of ways he could continue serving food without the restrictions of university schedules. Dhondup said his food truck mainly operated on university campuses, meaning that it was required to close during semester breaks.

In the end, Dhondup and Tagatsang decided that a brick-and-mortar restaurant would be their solution.

“Now [customers] can get our food all year round,” Dhondup explained. “Instead of being open for five days, we can now be open for six to seven days [a week].”

The restaurant will focus on casual dining and takeout with counter service instead of table service. Dhondup also said the menu will be expanded with more items than what the food truck was able to offer.

(Photo courtesy of Choega Dhondup)

“There’s a lot of people excited about the restaurant,” Dhondup said.

The food truck will continue to run alongside the restaurant with Dhondup and Tagatsang adopting a divide-and-conquer approach.

Dhondup said he hopes Dumpling & Noodle Cart will open before the end of the year at 3321 W. Cary St.