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.
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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.