Midnight Sun Wesley Case covers the city's after-hours scene

Korean ramen and sushi restaurant Nori getting set to open in Hampden

Nori, a new Korean restaurant serving ramen and sushi, will open in Hampden in early July.

The eatery will open at 850 W. 36th St., which most recently housed the Corner Restaurant and Charcuterie Bar. The property’s attached back bar — which Corner Restaurant rebranded as the members-only Elmwood Social Club before the business closed in late April — will open first this Saturday, said owner Chil Chong, with the main dining area to follow shortly after July 4.

Corner Restaurant owner and chef Bernard Dehaene announced on social media he would close his restaurant after April 30’s dinner service.

Chong, who also owns Ruby 8 Sushi at McHenry Row, said he plans to serve “upscale sushi” in a casual atmosphere. His sushi rolls will feature premium ingredients such as soft-shell crabs, lobster and lump crab meat, Chong said.

“Hopefully I can dazzle Hampden with this new sushi that they’ve been waiting for, for a long time,” Chong said.

Nori will also serve Korean-style ramen, he said. While Japanese ramen typically uses pork broth, Chong said his versions will be served in either chicken broth or vegetable broth, his preferences. They’ll also lean heavily on kimchi “to spice it up,” he said.

The bar will have an Asian focus as well, featuring cocktails made with clear spirits like sake and Korean soju, Chong said.

“I figure the Hampden clientele is more up-and-coming millennials and hipsters — they like those Asian cocktails,” he said.

Nori’s back bar seats approximately 35, while the main dining room will seat another 40. There are around 20 seats available for outdoor seating, he said.

Nori is tentatively scheduled to open at 3 p.m. Saturday. Chong said to check Nori’s Facebook page for updates on the specific opening time. Going forward, Nori will open at 3 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and at 11 a.m. Friday-Sunday (with plans to eventually add weekend brunch). Closing times are still to be determined, but Chong said as long as he has customers, he’ll stay open until 2 a.m. each night.

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