Afro-Asian cuisine. That's the exciting concept behind a new café going into the N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art campus in Midtown. Kuro will offer comfortingly familiar Southern flavors paired with Asian influences on small plates.
Owners Frances and Aaron Moore are new to the world of restaurant ownership. However, both have experience running startups from their time spent in New York.
Aaron, a native Michigander, was intrigued by the prospect of investing in the Motor City and the couple says they were feeling fatigued by the cost of living and owning a business in New York. They made their final decision last year, packing up and moving to the Great Lakes State.
After exploring some options, the Moores settled on a space in the trendy Sugar Hill Arts District at 52 E. Forest Avenue. The art scene surrounding the N'Namdi complex was very appealing, says Frances. The restaurant will share a wall with Seva, the vegetarian bistro.
Frances and Aaron aren't alone in this venture, having enlisted chef Brad Greenhill of Katoi to assist in designing Kuro's menu. "We went to Brad's dinner at Revolver," says Frances as she describes how they met Greenhill. "He's a good friend of ours so naturally we crossed paths." Although they're still in the early stages of planning a menu, the fare will likely include small plates, a possible raw bar with oysters, and a selection of simple, fresh cocktails that compliment the flavor palette.
The feel of the space was shaped through a collaboration between the owners, Urban Alterscape interior designer Erika Baker, and University of Michigan architect Craig Wilkins. Like Kuro's food, the decor will have a distinctly American character with Eastern influences, drawing on Old World natural elements: marbles, metals, and Port Orford cedar—traditionally used in pagodas and temples. A stellar audio visual system will round-off the ambiance, running movies silently to a Detroit soundtrack.
While the bistro is still in the early stages of development, Frances says the establishment could open as early as December.
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