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The Heights Will Soon Score a Seriously Exciting New Sushi Spot

A group of chefs who trained at MF Sushi will soon debut Ume in the space that formerly housed Barnaby’s.

The team at MF Sushi
Mai Pham

The minds behind Houston raw fish favorite MF Sushi will soon debut a brand new restaurant called Ume in the Heights.

Chef Chris Kinjo tells Eater that if all goes according to plan, Ume will open in the former Barnaby’s Cafe space at 2802 White Oak Drive in the next couple of months. “I’m just helping a couple of my chefs do their own thing,” Kinjo said. “They are MF-trained. I’m going to let them run it and get creative. I’ll just assist them in whatever they need to be successful,” he says.

Ume, which means “plum blossom” in Japanese, will occupy a 3,000 square foot space that Kinjo designed himself, planning a spot that’s a little more casual than the upscale MF Sushi. The reservation-only dining room will seat 60, along with a bar and dining area with 30 seats reserved for walk-ins only, and an eight-seat sushi bar. “They are going to do MF-style cuisine, but with no omakase,” he says. “I will probably be there once or twice a week, just to work as a chef.”

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the project, which has been in the works since earlier this year, is currently one or two months behind schedule, but Kinjo says he’s trying to get it open as soon as he can. In the meantime, MF Sushi has resumed dine-in services at their Museum District location, in accordance with state guidelines. The restaurant’s famous omakase service will not be available to book until restaurants are back to 100% capacity, however.

Expect Ume to arrive in the Heights sometime this summer, and stay tuned for an official opening date.

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