Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New African-Caribbean Restaurant In Columbia: Nigerian Food, B'fast, BBQ, Sounds Interesting

New Kuramo restaurant in Columbia
It looks like a new African-Caribbean restaurant is coming to the Long Reach village center in Columbia.

There is a sign in the window advertising the Kuramo African-Caribbean restaurant.  I nosed around the Web, and I found a site that says Kuramo will offer a broad menu -- with a bunch of Nigerian dishes.  The menu on that site talks about pepper soup, efo, jollof rice, and more.

Look through the window
The site seems half-made, which makes sense for a half-built restaurant, but the photos look delicious if they're really dishes that this restaurant will serve.  They certainly look like nothing else that I have seen around here.

(Update:  People say this sign has been on that restaurant for more than a year.  That's a bummer.  I don't know the situation.  Anyone know if this will happen?)

Kuramo fills the spot that used to be the Dog House Pub & Grill.  There is a sign in another window for Os, which says "breakfast, barbeque & more."  That may be connected with a place with a similar name in Baltimore.  A broad menu with some comfort barbecue and some unique Nigerian food?  This could be good.

Anyone know details?  Background of the places?  Timeline to open?  Looking through the window, there was clearly work still to be done.  But it looks like a restaurant, not a construction site.  Are we close?

Thanks to Jesse for the tip.  David Greisman had previously reported that a Caribbean restaurant was coming to Long Reach.  Wouldn't a profile of the new owners be a great story idea?  Nigerian food in Columbia?  When are they opening, David?  When?

Kuramo Restaurant
8775 Cloudleap Court 
Columbia, MD 21045

NEAR:  This is in the Long Reach Village Center -- north of Rte 175 off Tamar Drive.   There is a new supermarket coming to Long Reach called Family Market.  There is also a nice takeout fried chicken place called Chick N' Friends.


K8teebug said...

This sign has been in front of this restaurant for what seems like a year and a half. I hope they actually do build it out soon, because the Art Center could really use more community support!

Last week, I noticed an O's food truck in the parking lot.

MarkM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MarkM said...

This will be another failed Columbia restaurant. First reason, there isn't (I believe) a large enough ethnic market in this area, and those that enjoy that type of cuisine, to sustain the high overhead charged in village centers. In one village center, I know that just 700 square feet costs $2,300/month. I doubt LR is much different. They have to sell a lot of food to cover that cost. Maybe in the first few months as friends and the curious patronize the place it will do okay. I don't see it as sustainable in that location.

Second, there hasn't been a restaurant in that space that lasted more than 2 or 3 years since I moved here in 1988.

Morty Abzug said...

Cool! Looking forward to it. Please let us know when it opens.

MarkM: Columbia has plenty of a market for ethnic foods of various types. Columbia folks tend to be open to new types of ethnic foods. Restaurants that fail in this area are more about poor execution than the type of food. I wish them every success.

Brita said...

I hope it opens soon and that people patronize it. The Long Reach village center has so much potential with the Art Center there.

HowChow said...

@MarkM and Morty --

The price of space seems like the hidden key to almost every restaurant. In other places like DC, Silver Spring, Arlington, I think small restaurants have popped up where you can find lower rents.

I'd love to see village centers host restaurants. I always wonder if they suffer because they're almost impossible to stumble across and because they're far from businesses that might kick up a lunch crowd.

Brouwman said...

Confirming what MarkM said, that site seems cursed. We arrived in '85 when it was Sneakers. That died when they closed the softball fields to build the high school. Next up was an Irish pub that went under because they couldn't afford to remodel for a smoking section when the laws changed. Nonsmokers loved it but apparently don't drink enough to keep a pub going. Then it was Adams Rib, which every teenaged boy (and his dad) just loved, but it closed after a couple of years, too. After that was the Columbia Ale House, which was nondescript. We went overseas for 3 years, and while we were gone, that one closed and the last one opened AND closed. It looks like a primo site, and it would be nice if someone could make a go of it. The company that runs The village center is offering below market rates.

MarkM said...

Morty, Columbia does have a large market for many ethnic foods. My point is THIS ethnic food, Nigerian, probably doesn't have enough pull to it to sustain a restaurant with the large overhead that comes with Columbia village centers. Maybe a less expensive location, like off Rt. 1, while building a clientele would make more sense. I just don't see this succeeding in Long Reach. Also, with Safeway closing, foot traffic will slow WAY down. And, the LRVC still has a bad reputation and people won't want to go there after dark.

little audrey said...

Isn't there a police station right at the entrance of the village center, or is that gone now? And when is that market supposed to be open?

HowChow said...

@LittleA -- The market opened this week. I went today, and I'll post about it when I have a little time. It looks good to me. It's a Korean-run market with a big produce section, fish and meats with a nice Latin section and with tons of American packaged goods. It is closer to the Grand Mart offering Doritos, Jello and American staples than to the H Mart offering few American brands. It looks great to me because I love the produce, fish, meats, and all the Korean offerings.

orlando morozov said...

Good to hear there is so much talk about the new restaurant Kuramo in the long reach village center. Pro and con. I too believe that this location is prime not cursed like some have written. Yes there have been many that have tried to make a go of it there and failed. This I believe is due to poor execution and know how rather than location. The combination of different ethnic foods Caribbean Spanish Nigerian and American would make this an interesting place. Couple this with the same broad brush of live music from all over the world and I think you have a winner!! At lease I hope so, because I own this place. Yes it has been six months since I have been involved with Kuramo and sometimes it takes a while to completely change a place physically and spiritually. This location needed plenty of TLC; there was a lot of bad karma associated with it. I also own O'Breakfast and Barbeque. I have opened six O's five were located in Europe where I lived for the past twenty years, and the last was in Baltimore Federal Hill area. We will open in Columbia on March the 9th. It will be a food and live musical celebration. So come and join us.

Orlando Morozov

K8teebug said...

Thanks for the update. I will be visiting your restaurant before painting class on Thursday nights!

GrahamB said...

Location - Long Reach did have a poor reputation in the past however that is changing quickly since new management has taken over the shopping center. The Korean Supermarket that replaced the abysmal Safeway will be the anchor store and is really what was needed to revive this location. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the parking lot is always full now Fresh Market has opened, and generating a lot of foot traffic.
Security – A valid concern for those who have visited the shopping center in the past and something we don’t take lightly! We are committed to improving the security for our patrons and will hire off-duty police officers in conjunction with other businesses in the mall. We will strive to redeem the reputation of the shopping center and make our patrons feel safe. Some of you asked if the police station is still open and the answer is yes. Point is, the word will get out quickly that if you think you can go there and cause trouble you better think twice about it.
Secondly, we have no desire to open another bar and attract certain undesirables. We don’t plan on having loud music and televisions showing sports all day. We will have quite a variety of live African-Caribbean, Latin and American music. Also, in the near future we are looking to get a Gospel Brunch up and running each Sunday. We want the church-goers in the neighborhood to come in on Sundays and have a great time and enjoy some good music too to enlighten your soul. Those of you whom have visited New Orleans may be familiar with Gospel music and how wonderful it is.
Cuisine – Agreed, that if we were solely going to serve food from Nigeria we would probably be in trouble very quickly. However, we also shall be serving quality American comfort food, breakfast (all day) and BBQ. We have been serving this menu successfully for over twenty years and find it highly unlikely all of a sudden people will stop liking this type of food. The food from Nigeria will allow patrons whom don’t have the opportunity to try different foods from around the world. Also, we believe that the pollo alla brasa (rotisserie chicken) is going to be a big hit. I personally have been travelling and working in Peru (and still do, I’m writing this blog from my desk in Peru) and has taken me twelve years to perfect the recipe. Let’s just say it is yummy! As soon as it’s possible to import the limes from Peru I will show you what a ceviche really tastes like. Of course, we will be continually monitoring what works and what doesn’t and adapt accordingly. In summary, the day people stop liking breakfast and BBQ all of you doomsday preppers out there better start getting ready.
We are hoping to become part of the community and give back to support facilities such as the Art Center. Together, we can make this a great place and something to be proud of for years to come.
Graham Bingham (Co-owner)

GrahamB said...

excuse the mistake: I incorrectly wrote Fresh Market instead of Family Market.

ARDjr said...

Went by this place on Monday to see if they were open. Talked to a woman I think was one of the owners. They've been open for a month she said. The place was empty. The renovations looked nice enough. I grabbed a menu. Hope they're still open when I get back over that way to order something.

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