N13, a new restaurant in downtown Hamilton, held its grand opening on Friday, April 10. A noodle and pho shop located next to the Hamilton Movie Theater, N13 is attracting both students and townspeople, offering a style of Asian dishes not yet seen in downtown restaurants.
N13’s founder Scott Williams ’80 admits that the idea for a noodle shop came from his daughters, senior Katie Williams and junior Lacey Williams, both Colgate students.
“When we were discussing the idea of doing something in that space with the Hamilton Initiative, I asked my daughters and their friends what kind of food they would like to see come to the village. Almost universally the call was for pho/noodles,” Williams said.
With the help of Shannon Mantaro and the rest of the Hamilton Initiative that has worked to improve downtown Hamilton, N13’s space was recently renovated to prepare it for a hospitality business, allowing Williams and his team to move in.
“This project would not have happened without the support of the Hamilton Initiative and to a larger extent Colgate,” Williams said.
As the shop officially opened its doors this past Friday, the Colgate 13 and the Swinging Gates came together to perform songs for N13’s first customers, creating the first connection between the shop and Colgate.
“I think N13 offers a great new option for food downtown since it’s so different from anything else I’ve seen in Hamilton,” sophomore Kemarni Munroe said.
With two tables and a standing counter, the shop and its industrial kitchen sit in a small alcove located at 3 Lebanon Street. Currently, the shop offers a limited menu featuring customizable pho, pork dumplings, spring rolls and rice cakes, but will expand its options in the coming months.
“I hope we add a new place of community in Hamilton and Colgate. This store is going to be a prototype for what we think might be a great modern twist on the Asian noodle shop for college markets,” Williams said. “Hamilton will be a great test bed and we look forward to what the community can contribute to our company, and what we in turn can give back.”
Colgate students commented with their opinion of what N13 could potentially provide for the community.
“I think that as N13 expands and gets its foothold, it will be very successful as a niche Hamilton restaurant. Plus, it offers another great option for vegetarians who are sometimes limited in their downtown dining experience,” sophomore Ellis Van Slyke said.
Williams also noted the significance of N13’s presence as a restaurant in Hamilton.
“This project is about Hamilton, Colgate and the community, not just about making broth. We are part of a new generation of merchants in the village that are adding wonderful new energy to a great community,” Williams said. “With the new art center and the new Good Nature Brewing Company, Hamilton will become truly a Central New York destination for tourists and others. We are excited to be part of this growth and development of a place that is loved by so many people.”