Black Eye, a takeout-only Asian eatery with a focus on ramen and banh mi, is set to open this month at 1006 Virginia Ave. in Fountain Square, across the street from Wildwood Market.
Its owners are the husband-and-wife team of Kari Nickander and Adam Perry, who also own General American Donut Co. just west of Fountain Square, at 827 S. East St. near Eli Lilly and Co.’s corporate headquarters.
Black Eye’s menu will include rice bowls, ramen noodles and banh mi—a Vietnamese sandwich served on a distinctive baguette roll. But not everything will be strictly Asian, Perry said. For example, a Swedish meatball banh mi will be available. Vegan options, including zucchini "noodles" and a ramen broth, will also be on the menu.
“It’s not a traditional ramen or banh mi menu,” Perry said. “We’re trying to appeal to a big audience with it and not be intimidating about it.”
Black Eye should be ready to open in a week or two, Perry said, although no official opening date has been set. The establishment will serve lunch and dinner—likely from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at first, Perry said, with possible extended evening hours during summer weekends.
The Asian-inspired menu is a return to a type of cuisine the couple has worked with before.
Nickander and Perry formerly operated Pho Mi, a food truck that sold banh mi sandwiches as well as pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup.
The couple sold that food truck several years ago, then opened General American Donut Co. in 2014. But they never lost their interest in Asian food.
“We love the doughnut business, and it’s been a lot of fun. … But we always wanted to get back into restaurant food. This is us getting back into that,” Perry said.
The doughnut shop will remain open. In fact, Perry said, a lot of Black Eye items will be prepared at General American, then sent over to the restaurant. The two establishments are less than a mile apart.
Why call the place Black Eye? No special reason, Perry said. “We liked how it sounded, and it felt right to us.”