Cornerstone Restaurant Group, the acclaimed Chicago restaurant collective known for Michael Jordan’s Steak Houses and thriving partnerships with beloved chef Bill Kim, offers five dining concepts at the opening of the Purdue University Memorial Union on January 10. The arrival of the five Cornerstone Concepts in West Lafayette is through a partnership with Aramark, Purdue’s food service provider, which oversees and operates the collective’s kiosks at Memorial Union.
The five concepts are open now. Cornerstone’s new restaurant concepts at Purdue include:
Chef Bill Kim’s ramen bar
Chef Bill Kim’s Pizza & Parm Shop
J Manion – Latin. Inspired
“We are excited to partner with Aramark to bring our concepts to Purdue, where we have chosen a variety of restaurant concepts that we believe will be popular among their students,” said Danny McGowan, COO at Cornerstone, “We are restaurateurs unrelated to restaurants, and we want to bring our food to where the people are.
Cornerstone’s arrival at Purdue lasted for years, and the bonds between the groups first began as an experiential learning course on the Purdue campus. Four years ago, Purdue students were tasked with implementing an Urbanbelly pop-up as a course project. The students directed and marketed the pop-up and it served as a test for the partnership that has now arrived on campus.
“We were blown away by the enthusiasm of the students in the class and the welcome Urbanbelly received from the rest of the campus,” says McGowan, “the class project showed us that a concept like this would work and surpass our expectations. “
Three of the five Cornerstone concepts come from beloved Chicago chef Bill Kim, including Urbanbelly and the returns of his Ramen Bar and Pizza & Parm Shop, two pop-up concepts launched last year during the pandemic.
Joyfully creative yet oddly familiar, Urbanbelly premiered in 2008 and brought Kim’s soul from Seoul to Chicago through dumplings, booze, and bowls. Chef Bill Kim’s Ramen Bar features Kim’s menu of flavors that defy boundaries with creative ramen offerings, plus dumplings available with every order. Chef Bill Kim’s Pizza & Parm Shop highlights creative interpretations of Detroit-style pizzas and sandwiches with menu items like Korean barbecue ground beef and kimchi, double-smoked pork and pineapple, and classic chicken and parm sandwiches.
“I have a lot of fun creating the menu with flavors that I love but don’t necessarily expect on pizza or in ramen,” says Kim. “These menus pay homage to my childhood and reflect the many different cultural influences in my life that evoke the diversity of Chicago and now Purdue West Lafayette.”
Fresh Fare offers salads and bowls with clean flavors and an emphasis on dairy-free and gluten-free options. J. Manion – Latin. Inspired offers Chef John Manion’s creative take on Brazilian street food.
In 1993, Cornerstone opened Michael Jordan’s restaurant in Chicago, inspired by the basketball legend. The restaurant’s success laid the foundation for the Michael Jordan restaurant brand, a thriving partnership with beloved Chicago chef Bill Kim, and the collective’s warm approach to hospitality. Cornerstone’s arrival at Purdue in West Lafayette adds to the already impressive portfolio of partnerships with hotels, casinos, a global commercial retailer, a food court and one of the greatest athletes of all time, Michael Jordan .
Featured Image Credit: Kinship