Korean fried chicken is coming to Lazybrook/Timbergrove. Dak & Bop owner Jason Cho tells CultureMap that he will open a new location of his acclaimed bar and restaurant in the former La Vista space at 1805 W. 18th St.
Cho says that real estate developer Braun Enterprises approached him about bringing Dak & Bop to the building back when it housed a Pizza Hut, but the timing wasn’t right. After a year of searching for the right place to open a second restaurant, Cho says he’s happy to be in such a promising location.
“I have friends who live in the area. They always said they thought my concept would do well there,” Cho says. “I’m just going to take their word for it. I’m confident the neighborhood will like it.”
Whereas Dak & Bop’s original location in the Museum District has a Mexican influence courtesy of dishes like elote, empanadas, and carnitas, Cho says the new outpost will utilize La Vista’s old equipment to have more of an Italian focus. Expect the menu to include both flatbreads and pastas such as a kimchi and bacon carbonara. Dak & Bop regulars may have noticed some of these dishes as specials that Cho quietly used to test ideas while he developed the menu.
Cho cites David Chang’s New York restaurant Momofuku Nishi and Chicago restaurant Passerotto as influences on the direction. Even with a slightly more upscale focus, Cho intends to keep prices at a similar level to the original location. Overall, the eclectic menu defines how the chef wants people to experience his restaurant.
“People can still get fried chicken, but for me, I never really wanted to have a place that serves traditional Korean food,” Cho says. “My place is more of an elevated gastropub to eat food you can’t get anywhere else. I really think Lazybrook/Timbergrove will be receptive to it. I hope they appreciate it.”
Work to transform the space has already begun. Cho estimates he’ll open in mid-to-late October, which will give him enough time to get the restaurant running smoothly before opening a location of South Korean coffee shop Tom N Toms in the Galleria area.
“Braun Enterprises is thrilled to welcome Dak & Bop to the Timbergrove neighborhood,” leasing director Zach Wolf tells CultureMap. “We were disappointed to see the departure of La Vista 101 but are confident that Jason’s vision for the project will be a great addition to the neighborhood.”