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Northern Cafe recently locked down a new location in the building where the long-standing Mandarin Deli stood for 30 years. Now, another outpost is in the works, according to a liquor license application — this time at 4175 Campus Dr. with a setup reminiscent of the company’s founding.
Northern Cafe’s Irvine location will exist within the University Center food court as part of the University of California Irvine, a similar atmosphere as the one where Northern Cafe got its start in 2016. Owners Betty Ren and Chuan Yong originally opened up shop on the UCLA campus in Westwood. The menu has a large emphasis on dumplings and specializes in xiao long bao (soup dumplings.)
It’s unclear when the new location will open its doors as the owners were not immediately reachable Friday. The growing chain is quickly spreading out across the metro area. In addition to its two upcoming locations and its original in Westwood, Northern Cafe has outposts in Brentwood, DTLA, Hollywood, and Monterey Park, according to Google (the company’s website still only lists the OG Westwood outpost on Gayley.)