Since it opened in 2014, Slurping Turtle on E. Liberty has drawn crowds of students, moviegoers, and locals for its bowls of ramen and plates of sushi.
In September, it closed for what it estimated would be a six-to-eight-week renovation. Another restaurant might simply paper over the windows and focus on repairs.
Instead, Slurping’s restaurant friends helped it stay on the radar. In late October, Slurping-inspired duck-fat-fried chicken wings were on the menu at Side Biscuit, the wings and sandwich shop on Packard.
Meanwhile, it held the first of several sushi pop-ups at its neighbor, Knight’s Downtown. The idea came about during a conversation between the two restaurants’ staffers.
Knight’s kitchen manager Rick Croley says the arrangement pays off for both restaurants.
“We got to offer something different, and they got to keep their name out there!” Croley emails. “We thought it would be nice to keep them in peoples’ thoughts or mouths.”
Side Biscuit owner Jordan Balduf says he’s been a regular customer for the industry nights Slurping has hosted on Mondays and has competed in its annual ramen battle.
“We did a collaboration while they were still open and catered their staff party, and we had always dreamed of pulling off the duck fat fried chicken as a collab at Side Biscuit,” he emails.
Once Slurping Turtle closed, “it was a perfect time to give their regulars a taste of the food they missed in a different form and vessel at Side Biscuit.”
Like Knight’s, Balduf says he’ll probably do another tie-in soon. At press time, there was no date yet on when Slurping Turtle will reopen.