A new restaurant is setting up shop in the former Rubbed space on Michigan Avenue in Corktown. The charcuterie and sandwich shop rather unexpectedly vacated the property earlier this fall, making way for a Japanese-inspired concept, Ima. Chef/owner Mike Ransom tells Eater he’s on track to open the eatery this winter bringing non-traditional udon, ramen, soba noodle bowls to the neighborhood.
Ransom is a Michigan native who recently returned to Detroit after nearly 10 years living and working on both coasts. Although he’s classically trained in French cooking, Ransom says he’s always looked for ways to incorporate Japanese techniques and ingredients into his food. “That’s my comfort food. That’s what I like to eat most,” he adds.
Passersby will notice that the restaurant no longer features the turquoise facade. The exterior paint has been strip down to the original brick with the side of the building receiving a coat of white paint and a temporary sign. Inside, the restaurant has also been taken back down to the bones. “We cleaned it out and got rid of a lot of built-in pieces of furniture and opened up the floor plan again,” he says.
In their place, Ima’s new owners have installed oak counters along the west walls and front of the building with several communal tables in the center of the room. Ransom estimates the restaurant will seat between 30 and 32 diners indoors with an additional 22 to 24 seats on the patio in warmer months.
In addition to a noodles, which will change seasonally, Ima will also offer a selection of rice bowls, curries, and shared plates. Ransom says he plans to offer a hybrid format with dine-in table service as well as carryout and potentially a quick-service option for lunch.
Ima is expected to open around December 15, though the owner admits that the holidays could bring delays. The restaurant will not open with a liquor license, though the Ransom plans to secure one by next spring. In the meantime, the restaurant is hiring staff. Stay tuned for updates.
• Ima Facebook [Official]
• Ima Website [Official]