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Posted on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Downtown Ann Arbor's Kuroshio restaurant gets liquor license, opens for lunch

By Lizzy Alfs


Asian fusion restaurant Kuroshio in downtown Ann Arbor is now open for lunch and serving beer, wine and liquor.

Melanie Maxwell |

Kuroshio general manager Alan Wang learned it’s not easy operating an upscale restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor without a liquor license.

The restaurant opened on the corner of East Liberty and South Fourth in December without the ability to serve beer, wine and liquor, and Wang said it’s had a “big impact” on business.

“We had signs on our doors and our hostess was always letting people know who walk in that we (didn’t) have our liquor license, and almost half, if not more, would decide to go try other restaurants,” he said.

But after Wang picked up the license in Lansing on Friday, the Asian fusion restaurant is now offering a wine menu and specialty cocktail menu. Kuroshio also started serving lunch on Monday.

“I’m very excited,” Wang said.

The lunch menu costs between $9 and $14 per person and Wang called it “drastically” different than the dinner menu. He said the menu emphasizes “quick and easy” rice and noodle dishes. The full sushi menu also is offered during lunch.

Wang is still looking to hire sushi chefs and he’s made several tweaks to the restaurant based on customer feedback.

“We’ve been continuously changing our presentation…we’re listening to our customers,” he said.

He added: “Feedback is always welcome.”

Kuroshio replaced the former Champion House restaurant at 120 E. Liberty St. Wang and his parents, Kenneth and Grace, completely transformed the 3,800-square-foot space into a contemporary upscale restaurant and bar after signing a lease for the space in March 2012.

The restaurant’s new hours are Monday through Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.; and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 10:44 p.m.

So, let me get this straight. This photo was taken before the restaurant even opened up for the first time? So, this picture was taken back in December. Then why do they have liquor in house with no liquor license. I would imagine the Michigan Liquor Control Commission would also like to know as well.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 4:27 p.m.

I don't wish to be overly negative but the bar doesn't look fully stocked from the photo and the as another commenter noted, the dirty glasses are not a good look. Lunch menu priced between $9 & $14? That's too expensive for '"quick and easy" rice and noodle dishes.'

Kellie Woodhouse

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:33 p.m.

Good for them. I imagine that relying on the dinner crowd without serving alcohol was certainly difficult for the bottom line.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

The liquor might help me forget that the food is unexciting and overpriced. I don't particularly like the label "Asian Fusion", but it was interesting to note there wasn't much "fusing" in the dishes. Plus $10 for a garden salad and $18 for vegetable stirfry?!?! Wondering if those were some of the ones being reconsidered.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:19 p.m.

Waaaaay too expensive, don't look for me there......field day for the haters, excuse me while I duck....


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:01 p.m.

Why use a photo with a bunch of dirty glasses at the end of the bar? Not very inviting.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:45 p.m.

Hmmm. Didn't even notice that. I think the bar looks great.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:22 p.m.

We went to photograph the restaurant a couple days before it opened, so it wasn't entirely set up, yet. Our fault, not theirs!


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

Maybe we'll give lunch a try. The high dinner prices also create a pretty negative impression.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 11:57 a.m.

They should have waited to open instead of disappointing so many and creating a negative first impression.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 9:50 p.m.

Sometimes a business can't afford to need an influx of funds NOW...Try to imagine how much money they spent renovating...