Ima brings popular Japanese-style fare to Midtown, marking its biggest location yet

Aug 12, 2019 at 6:36 pm
click to enlarge Ima brings popular Japanese-style fare to Midtown, marking its biggest location yet
Tom Perkins

Popular Japanese-inspired restaurant Ima is getting a third location and it’s going to allow Chef Mike Ransom to revisit his original vision.

Ima, which specializes in a variety of customizable rice and udon bowls; traditional sharable appetizers like edamame, dumplings, and steamed oysters; and fusion-foods like tacos and smoked salmon potato salad, is coming to Midtown, The Detroit Free Press reports.

The newest location will join the restaurant's original cozy outpost in Corktown that opened in January 2017, and the Ima of Madison Heights, which opened its doors in November. The Midtown location will occupy 3,700 square feet of the mysteriously shuttered Sweet Lorraine’s Fabulous Mac n’ Brewz near Wayne State University's campus at the corner of Cass and Warren avenues, which is significantly larger than both of its current operations. 

Ransom told the Free Press that the extra square footage will allow for a larger kitchen which will give the restaurant some room to expand its menu to offer more fried “izakaya-style” foods, as well as room to cater to the area's snacking student population. The restaurant will also offer a more substantial dessert selection, as currently there is only one sweet item on the menu in the form of the vegan strawberries and cream custard.

The new space, which Ransom expects to be completed and ready to open this fall for “soup season,” will also boast an entertainment area for music events, as well as a full 10-seat bar.

Ransom also says the move to Midtown was strategic, as the Corktown location has less than a year left on its lease and, though he anticipates being able to ride out a few years on a month-to-month-based lease, the newest restaurant will sustain Ima's Detroit footprint.

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