Ramen may not be brain food, but it's been fueling starving college students on a budget for many years. And now a new noodle shop is coming to Tempe -- in walking distance of ASU and just a chopstick's throw from Mill Avenue.
If all goes as planned, Umami will open in The Center -- the brownstone-style mixed-use complex at 21 East Sixth Street -- at the end of April. Here are the slurpy details.
Umami's owners are Jared Lupin -- a former chef at Tempe's Republic Ramen & Noodles who currently works at Down Under Wines -- and his partner Matt Marlowe, a former consultant for JP Morgan Chase who left the corporate world to attend Le Cordon Bleu at age 33.
The two plan to feature oodles of noodles -- both traditional and not-so-traditional ramen bowls priced at $7 to $8 -- as well as daily specials, fresh seafood selections and an ever-changing Umami bento box, filled with goodies from a repertoire of 20 mix-and-match bites. There will be plenty of cold beer and sake as well.
Down the line, Umami will also offer delivery. The partners are currently shopping scooters, as well as delivery boxes that will get the ramen to the customer fresh and un-soggy.
Lupin and Marlowe were the winners of a contest held by Salt Public Relations, which offered six months free rent plus six months of free PR and marketing to the entrepreneur/s who seemed most likely to make a go of the space formerly occupied by The Center Bistro.
Although the restaurant space is fully equipped, it's currently undergoing a mini-makeover. Follow Umami's construction progress and learn more menu details on its Facebook page.