Apr 16, 2024 - Food and Drink

Seoul Food Meat Co. opens a hidden, kid-free speakeasy inside its Optimist Park location

seoul

Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

We don't talk about Bruno — at least, that's what owner Tim Chun says about the new speakeasy bearing that name he recently opened inside his restaurant, Seoul Food Meat Co. in Optimist Park.

Why it matters: Seoul Food has a well-earned reputation as a kid-friendly space with a playground, a gaming area and karaoke rooms. But Bruno, Chun jokes, is "the parent daycare — somewhere parents can run away from the kids."

Between the lines: If you're wondering, yes, Bruno gets its name and tagline from the "We Don't Talk About Bruno," track off Disney's "Encanto."

Flashback: Bruno has been a work-in-progress over the last year-and-a-half, Chun tells me. He's chipped away at it since Seoul Food opened in October 2022.

Context: Chun and his wife, Lisa Kamura, also own the flagship Seoul Food in South End, along with the cocktail bar and soju distillery LaBARatory that's inside Optimist Park's Urban District Market.

What to expect: Like a real speakeasy, Bruno is dimly lit and completely hidden from sight if you're in the main restaurant. Menu-wise, expect a bourbon-centric bar (from Japanese to Tennessee whiskeys), plus all the classic cocktails, wine, beer and a handful of mocktails.

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Cocktails are named after major cities, like the "Midnight in Paris," made with Uncle Val's gin, vermouth, rosewater, orange bitters with flavors of lavender, lemon, and raspberry. Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

How it works: Okay, so, we might not talk about Bruno, but we're not here to gatekeep it, either. Here's what we will say about the secret location (which we promise is somewhere inside the restaurant):

  • You'll be able to see out from inside the speakeasy, but trust me, diners can't see you.
  • You won't need a password. Instead, you'll press a call button to be let inside.
  • It's close and small, with only seats 12 at the bar. But Chun tells Axios he plans to add more seating along the wall.
seoul
This picture might just be the biggest hint yet. OK, I've said too much. Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

What's next: Food. Bruno's menu won't be similar to Seoul's, says Chun, adding it'll be geared towards "drinking-focused" foods.

Stop by: For now, Bruno is walk-in only and is open Wednesday-Sunday from 5pm until close (11pm Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 12:30am Friday-Saturday).

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