Oct 24, 2022 - Food and Drink

Seoul Food opens huge new restaurant, playground and karaoke bar in Optimist Park

Seoul Food Meat Co.

Seoul Food Meat Co. new Optimist Park location. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Seoul Food Meat Co. opened its second location in Optimist Park Monday, Oct. 24.

Why it matters: With its splash zone, playground, dog park, multiple dining rooms and five karaoke rooms, the new Seoul aims to be a destination for parents, dog owners, coworkers and friends.

Seoul Food Meat Co.
Seoul Food Meat Co. owner Tim Chun behind the counter. Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

Flashback: When owner Tim Chun opened the first Seoul Food in South End in 2016, he had a very active dog. “I built it with a dog park so I could drink with my dog,” he said laughing.

  • At the time, places like Lucky Dog — bars where you can take your dogs — were just starting to spring up around town.
  • Now, Chun and his wife Lisa Kamura have kids and they had a similar idea when they decided to open the second Seoul Food. “I can still take my kids to do the park and I can still drink,” he said about the new location.

The menu: Seoul Food Meat Co., a Korean BBQ restaurant, will have a similar menu as the original and “a lot of beer,” Chun says. I counted 40 taps on the main ordering area.

Seoul Food Meat Co.
Seoul Food will also have. a playground for kids. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
Seoul Food Meat Co.
Like its original location, there’ll also be a dog park. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
  • Aside from the main ordering area, there’s a bar in the karaoke area and a food concession stand and bar outside.

The main difference between both Seoul Foods is how the food is ordered. Unlike the South End location, the new location will have no servers and it’ll have a cafeteria-style ordering process. “By the time you get to the end of the line, you’ll have your food,” Chun explains.

Details: Located at 421 E 26Th St., the new Seoul Food stands at 15,000 square feet inside and an additional 12,000 square feet outside. Cluck Design is the architect for the massive space.

Seoul Food Meat Co.
We tried the green tea cornbread, the fire chicken, kimchi fries, ramen mac & cheese and the bulgogi kimbap. Photo: Mckenzie Rankin/Axios
Seoul Food Meat Co.
Karaoke booths can be reserved online ahead of time. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
Seoul Food Meat Co.
Each karaoke booth is themed in a different color. They fit around 25 people comfortably. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
  • It’s on the site of a renovated former mill, as Axios’ Emma Way reported. Called Lintmans, the adaptive reuse project that includes a food hall was first announced in 2020.
  • And, as Emma pointed out, it straddles three different neighborhoods — Optimist Park, Villa Heights, and NoDa.
  • Parking is scarce compared to the size of the space, but the venue is connected to a trail that drops you off at the 25th street station of the light rail.

What’s next: Chun says once it opens, he hopes to host events at Seoul Food every weekend. But not your typical trivia nights, “something unconventional,” he clarified — like a cookie baking competition.

Seoul Food Meat Co.
This bigger karaoke room can be rented out as a separate event space. It’ll have its own bar and bartender. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
Seoul Food Meat Co.
This hallway will lead to another dining room, the karaoke booths and two more bars. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios
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