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Sam's Noodle Shop to Return to Murray Hill?

Murray Hill residents hoping for the return of Sam's Noodle Shop may not have to wait much longer. If the above picture is any indication the neighborhood favorite may soon be reopening on the corner of 29th Street and 3rd Avenue. It looks like there's finally some construction progress, but based on the picture the new building seems to be almost identical to the old one. Anyone know what's going on here?

More pictures and a little history after the jump.

Sam's closed during the winter of 2005, leaving little behind but a sign in the window saying it would reopen during in July. Summer came and went with no apparent progress. This past fall things took a turn for the worse, when the entire building was demolished. Meanwhile, long-time competitor/neighbor Noodles on 28 made an aggressive attempt to dominate the Murray Hill Chinese food scene. In a power move Noodles opened a second neighborhood location a few doors down from the old Sam's--which also happens to be directly across the street from their own original location(diagram below). A bizarre strategy to say the least, but we'll be watching to see how this saga turns out.

The old building:

(photo from

The new building: