“Yume” means “dream” in Japanese, but for Tony Yum and Rosena Tong, getting Yume Bistro moved to uptown Charlotte has been more nightmare.
After spending three months finding a location they loved in Charlotte’s Gold District on South Mint Street near Bank of America Stadium, they signed a lease in July 2017 and closed their popular ramen restaurant in Matthews. (It’s now the location of Lam’s Kitchen, featuring in a recent Observer story on Chinese restaurants.)
Then they spent a year struggling with sewer and water issues to the building. Along with the new restaurant Bardo, next door, they faced another big setback when someone tore the electric system away, probably to take the copper wiring.
It’s almost done, though: The new Yume (say it “You May”) has a “fingers-crossed” projected opening date of Aug. 10, pending final inspections. (Watch their Facebook page for updates.)
And here’s the promised cocktail news: DiSean Burns, the popular mixologist who left Stoke Bar to work for Tito’s Vodka, is returning to cocktail work at Yume, with a menu of 12 craft cocktails.
When they open, they’ll have three times as much space, from 1,200 square feet in the old location to 3,300 square feet in the new one, three times as many seats (100, including a nine-seat sushi bar and a 12-seat cocktail bar) and a more extensive menu, including sushi, donburi (rice bowls), yakitori and curries. They also plan to add udon and sobe noodles.
“Authentic Japanese is a missing piece around the city,” says Rosena Tong. (Both Tong and Yum are natives of Hong Kong, but Yum’s father was a Cantonese chef for 25 years in San Francisco. When he refused to teach his son to cook, Yum went off on his own and learned Japanese cuisine, training for eight years with a sushi master.)
Expect a cool vibe of seafoam-green walls, copper bar chairs and light fixtures, and artwork by Merv Rubiano. (Look for Rubiano’s tiny flower sprays on the corners of the custom-made wood tables.)
The new menu is still being finished, but it’s extensive, with 13 to 14 kinds of ramen (prices will start at $13), plus innovative soups and a long list of sushi (special rolls will run $12 to $16. The hours will also be extensive: It will be open for lunch and dinner, with late-night service on Fridays and Saturdays for the uptown crowd: 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m. Friday-Saturday.
Bagels headed to South End
The popular Cotswold bagel shop Poppy’s and More has signed a lease for a new location in South End. Ronnie Rippner says his new space, 2201 South Boulevard, will be larger, at 2,500 square feet (the original is 1,800), with seating indoors and out. He hopes to add more catering and wholesale with a larger location. Tentative opening date is this fall.
He also has added more to the menu, including pastrami, corned beef and brisket for sandwiches.
After opening seven years ago near Providence and Sharon Amity roads, Poppy’s has found a following for the New York-style bagels and for classic deli salads and sandwiches.
Bad Daddy’s branches out again
Gastonia gets its first location of Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar on Tuesday, with a ribbon-cutting at 10:30 a.m. at 2211 E. Franklin Blvd. The burger restaurant was founded by restaurateur Frank Scibelli, who later sold it to Good Times Restaurants, based in Colorado. There are now 31 locations nationwide and 14 in North Carolina.
If you go to the Gastonia Bad Daddy’s on Aug. 9, 10 percent of all sales that day will be donated to the Community Foundation of Gaston County.
And more Sabor
The 10th location of Sabor Latin Street Grill is expected to open next week in Davidson, at 624 Jetton St., No. 160. There’s an invitation-only preview Aug. 4, and the opening is expected the next week.
Locally owned by Raydal Hospitality, Sabor has embarked on a fast expansion, with a new location coming uptown this fall at College and 6th streets that will include space for the corporate office and catering operations. A 12th location also is expected, but that lease hasn’t been signed.