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New Ramen and Sushi Restaurant Headed for Short North’s Brunner Building

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega New Ramen and Sushi Restaurant Headed for Short North’s Brunner BuildingPhoto by Walker Evans.
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  • Sumo

Ramen, sushi, and a full sake bar — Short North diners will find it all at Ampersand Asian Supper Club, coming to 940 N. High St. by the end of this year.

Conceptualized by Megan Ada, behind Asterisk Supper Club and Sunny Street Café in Westerville, Ampersand will be a culmination of Ada’s run-ins with Japanese culture. She lived in Guam — just a two-hour flight from Japan — for several of her formative years, and visits her father’s family there regularly.

“I pretty much grew up on Japanese food, and I know a lot about it,” Ada says. “To me, this is like a dream come true, to be able to do something I’ve always enjoyed, but now I can finally understand how it’s made and where it comes from.”

Taking up 2,000 square feet of space in the newly built Brunner Building, Ampersand will be a fast-casual restaurant with a small menu of ramen and sushi, as well as a full bar featuring sake, Japanese whiskeys and beers. John Bowsher, who’s behind the cocktail menu at Asterisk, will fill the same role at Ampersand, crafting a lineup of sake-based cocktails.

Chef Josh Cook, who’s worked with Hubbard Grille, Mezzo, Due Amici and others, will helm the kitchen. Along with ramen and sushi, he’ll serve up various small plates and grab-and-go items that’ll be available in a carryout cooler.

“There are so many people working and living down there now that I want to encourage carry out,” Ada says, “so people can come in and quickly get something to pick up and a drink and be in and out in a short period of time.”

Helping to execute the theme is Ada’s mother Laurie Ada, who also contributed to the interior design of Asterisk. Taking a bit from its sister restaurant, Ampersand will feature floor to ceiling bookshelves, but the similarities end there. Ampersand’s space, seating up to 50 people, will be a blend of black, navy blue and gold. To contrast, the floors will be a blonde wood accented with bamboo.

An entire wall will be dedicated to Short North-centric art as well as pieces from local artists, which Ada hopes will create a draw for the neighborhood’s Gallery Hoppers.

Construction on the space is set to begin in about a month, and Ada expects Ampersand to open its doors by the end of 2018.

For more information, visit asterisksupperclub.com

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