Three restaurants opening soon in Madison

Keep an eye out for these highly anticipated...

Both Wisconsinites and the Japanese know how to make good use of a tavern, and Umami’s Mike Ding (backed by minority investor Food Fight) plans to bring his own to the Capitol Square in late fall.

Tavernakaya will feature sake-based cocktails and both local and Japanese beers and whiskeys, paired with pan-Asian pub-style fare such as skewers from the yakitori grill, a wok station and a full-service sushi bar. Good news, Umami fans: The menu will include a smattering of what the Willy Street hotspot patrons crave, likely featuring one signature bun, one dumpling and one ramen bowl.

Rest assured that the Underground Food Collective’s highly anticipated new restaurant is still on its way, says founding chef Jonny Hunter. Little is known about the specifics of Middlewest, the future Williamson Street eatery next door to Underground Butcher, but UFC fans can expect more of the same in all the ways that matter: food and practices that are sustainable, unique and true to community. “Things are taking time but we’re optimistic we’ll open 2015,” says Hunter, “or 2016.”

A long-awaited Southern restaurant, wine bar and coffee shop trio is coming to fruition on East Wash by early September, says Jon Reske, who’s spearheading the project. At Julep, Sarah Kinser, of the Weary Traveler and Restaurant Magnus, is joined by Laura Jones, also of Magnus and Tempest Oyster Bar, and executive chef Aaron Mooney, who’s relocating to Madison from Chicago. The eatery also boasts a 3,500-square-foot courtyard in back. Johnson Public House’s Kyle and Gwen Johnson will helm A-OK coffeehouse, while Maduro owner Brian Haltinner and Lucas Balamuth will pour at the Barolo wine bar.

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