Ima in Corktown reopens in new space, old location to host pop-ups

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

In late 2021, owner and chef Mike Ransom announced the original location of Ima would move to a bigger location, but stay in Corktown. 

The popular noodle joint relocated to the empty restaurant space across the street where Gold Cash Gold was until it closed in early 2020. It debuted last week as Ima Izakaya with a broader focus on the bar program, more kitchen room and a bigger dining area. 

Ima Izakaya is now open in Corktown where Gold Cash Gold was.

The new Corktown Ima has about three times as much space, said Ransom. 

"It's kind of serendipitous because there are not a lot of stock of restaurant spaces in Corktown that are ready to go, in fact there are zero," he told The Detroit News when the news of the move broke, adding that he's had a great, longstanding relationship with the building's owners, the Cooley family, which also owns nearby Slows Bar BQ. 

Ima's original location, 2015 Michigan, has been rebranded as Now, a event space that will host pop-up chefs, parties, receptions and other events. It has a full bar and space indoors and out. 

A bowl of curry yaki udon with pan-fried noodles from Ima, which has three locations in Metro Detroit, including the newly opened Ima Izakaya in Corktown.

Now kicks off Friday with Khana, a Pakistani-inspired pop-up that is halal and vegetarian friendly. Starting at 6 p.m. there will be food, drinks and live music. Khana will continue to serve at Now Friday and Tuesday throughout the summer. 

For more information or to book an event, visit

Reservations are open now at Ima Izakaya, which has indoor and outdoor seating and beverage program showcasing everything from low- or nonalcoholic drinks to giant shareable cocktails. Share the Ima sangria with plum wine, plum brandy, spiced pear liqueur and fruit, $35. The Japanese-style pub also has a big selection of sake, wine and beer. 

The menu is similar to Ima's other locations and has yaki udon, pho, rice dishes and shareable plates, plus grilled meats and entrees like Chilean sea bass and New York strip steak. 

Visit or stop in at 2100 Michigan. It's open for lunch and six days a week; closed Tuesdays.

Twitter: @melodybaetens