Slurping Turtle noodle house coming to ex-Borders building in downtown Ann Arbor
Ben Freed | AnnArbor.com
Iron Chef America participant and Chicago-based restaurateur Takashi Yagihashi announced Monday that he has signed a lease for 5,296 square feet in the former Borders flagship store to open a Slurping Turtle restaurant.
The new restaurant will join Knights Steakhouse in the first floor of the landmark downtown building as the space begins to take on a theme of expanding Ann Arbor’s downtown culinary offerings.
Yagihashi owns two restaurants in Chicago, Slurping Turtle and Takashi. He has previously expressed interest in bringing Slurping Turtle, his Japanese tapas and noodle house concept, to Ann Arbor, but said in January that he was still negotiating a lease.
According to the restaurant's website, menu offerings at Slurping Turtle include sashimi, a "bincho grill," a range of noodle dishes and "bento brunch."
Before moving to Chicago, Yagihashi was the chef for eight years at Tribute in Farmington Hills. The restaurant, which closed in 2009, was lauded by the New York Times as “maybe the best restaurant between New York and Chicago.”
Cavendar said the building owners hope to hand control of the spaces over to the tenants by early fall with restaurants opening as early as January of 2014.
Yagihashi won a James Beard award in 2003 and has appeared on multiple television shows including “Top Chef Masters.”
Office space in the landmark building on East Liberty Street is completely filled with companies and schools focusing on data and information. Barracuda Networks, PRIME Research North America and the University of Michigan School of Information have combined to lease approximately 65,000 square feet and they expect to have approximately 500 employees in the building within the next five years.
The building had been vacant and under renovation since Borders closed the store in September 2011 as part of bankruptcy proceedings.
Ben Freed covers business for AnnArbor.com. You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Get in touch with Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2