Sumo by Nambara in east Wichita has closed, and here is what’s taking its place

For much of the last year, there was talk that Sumo by Nambara was closing, but owner Ivy Yang was tight-lipped, as were the developers of Plazzio at 13th and Greenwich.

Now, though, Umi Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar partner Frank Chan confirms his restaurant will be taking the space.

“It’s not going to be like the old Sumo,” Chan said.

Umi has a teppanyaki grill along with sushi and wok cooking, but Chan said the restaurant will be different than anything Wichita currently has.

“We want to bring a lot of things,” he said. “We are trying to do much more.”

He said that means a new level of seafood and other ingredients. There will be a full bar as well.

There’s also going to be a new look for the building.

“We’re spending a lot of money toward the renovations.”

Along with a complete overhaul of the interior, Chan said, “We are going to expand the patio section.”

The first Umi, which Chan said means ocean in Japanese, opened in Manhattan in 2011 followed by a Billings, Mont., site in 2015.

Some friends of the partners opened a couple in Mississippi as well.

“We have been very successful in Manhattan,” Chan said.

He said Umi already would have been in Wichita if the pandemic hadn’t happened.

“It’s taken a little longer.”

Chan said he hopes to have the renovations complete by July, though it may be August.

Look for more information then.