The as-yet-unnamed Mexican restaurant by Mani Osteria owner Adam Baru and chef Brendan McCall is slated to open in late November or early December next door to Mani at the corner of Liberty and Division. Baru, whose wife is Mexican and who worked for years with Ecuadorian American "Iron Chef" Jose Garces, says he's planned to open a Latin-themed restaurant for some time. Having it right next door, Baru says, will help the partners keep close tabs on both new restaurants.
Kuroshio, a new Asian fusion restaurant, is aiming to open by year's end at the corner of Liberty and Fourth. "Kuroshio is the western boundary current that flows through Asia," explains general manager Alan Wang, "and we'll be encompassing all the cuisines that it passes through--Vietnamese, Thai, and a little bit of Chinese." Kuroshio's owners (and Wang's parents), Kenneth Wang and Grace Chen, are Taiwanese, but Wang says Japanese cuisine in particular has always appealed to his father, now retired from international trade, because of its health and simplicity.
Wang says he and his father were surprised when the building's longtime tenant, Champion House, closed abruptly earlier this year, but immediately saw the space as an opportunity to launch their venture. "It's a prime downtown location," he says, "and Ann Arbor is the best kind of town to open a new restaurant that borders on the experimental fine-dining side."