Joon Park used to cringe when he would get takeout orders for his household’s Korean barbecue restaurant in Annandale. “Lots of very conventional Korean dishes don’t journey properly,” he says. “We couldn’t determine it out how one can ship it to them. You get very soggy meals in some styrofoam container.”
That’s not the case on the Park household’s new enterprise, Bangbop in Brookland. Orders like rainbow bibimbap bowls from the supply and pickup-only store at Tastemakers incubator/food hall are particularly designed to nonetheless style good half-hour after touring to diners in an eco-friendly container. The lengthy menu contains six completely different bibimbap bowls, together with spicy pork tacos, bulgogi bao, salads, Korean-inspired bahn mi, oven-fried natural Korean rooster wings, salads, build-your-own choices, and extra dishes.
The ghost kitchen idea, which opened Monday, November 2, has been within the works even earlier than the pandemic.
“We’ve truly been planning or desirous about a supply kitchen for a couple of years as our second act. We’ve finished the standard sit-down eating, conventional Korean restaurant factor,” Park explains (the household opened its Annandale restaurant in 1998 and bought it over a decade in the past).
“We wished to do one thing that’s completely different and difficult — and one thing that truly sort of marries our household’s custom and experience handed down from generations of Korean recipes, genuine flavors, and modernizing it with type of a brand new enterprise mannequin,” he says.
Park’s sister Ji is Bangbop’s government chef and manages the restaurant, whereas Joon is a self-professed expertise geek who’s into analyzing information and fixing logistics issues. “I actually consider ghost or darkish kitchens as nearly an e-commerce expertise enterprise as a lot as it’s a restaurant,” he says.
Moreover a slick web site, Bangbop incorporates expertise that automates dispatches of drivers, utilizing three completely different outdoors firms to verify the restaurant can deal with peak occasions. The restaurant provides deliveries inside three miles of its website in Brookland (different meals supply platforms will take deliveries additional out, as much as 5 or 6 miles or so).
Moreover specializing in takeout, the Parks wished to place a healthful, sustainably-sourced spin on Korean barbecue — one which appeals to folks with dietary restrictions.
“With each menu merchandise, we considered how one can make it more healthy, with out compromising style,” Park says. “Our prospects actually love the truth that we provide vegan and non-meat choices like tofu.” There’s additionally “Unattainable Bulgogi,” made with Unattainable Meals vegan protein.
Thus far, Bangbop’s hottest dish is the standard bulgogi bibimbap, which Park says tastes as “in the event you had a Korean grandmother who cooked rather well and he or she made a bowl of bibimbap for you one of the simplest ways she is aware of how.”
Park says that prospects in Brookland have embraced the restaurant to date, and he hopes to pay it ahead by hiring staff from the area people because the restaurant grows. A Popville post led to much more orders than the household anticipated in its first few weeks of enterprise.
“Since late final week, we’ve actually been working actually, actually laborious to verify we’re delivering nice meals and we’re operating out of elements. For a restaurant that opened in a once-in-a-century pandemic, as issues go, this can be a fairly high-class downside,” he says.