Neighborhood Eats: Curbside Korean BBQ in Manhattan

Lauren Glassberg Image
Saturday, June 27, 2020
Neighborhood Eats: Curbside Korean BBQ in Manhattan
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Lauren Glassberg speaks with a K-Town restaurant owner who found a unique way to bring the experience of Korean BBQ outdoors

KOREATOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Dining outside can be lovely during the summer, but for restaurants where customers do some of the cooking at the table, outdoor dining has its limits.

In this edition of Neighborhood Eats, we're headed to Yoon Haeundae Galbi for Korean BBQ.

"My grandfather started in the restaurant business in 1964 in South Korea," Bobby Yoon said.

And so he expanded to the US, opening his restaurant two years ago at 8 West 36th Street in Manhattan.

"They call it Korea Street or Korean Town, or usually K-Town," he said.

And now with New York City in Phase 2 of reopening, Yoon has set up some tables outside, even in the curb lane.

"I see a lot of loyal customers, they're very excited to come back and they had a good time," he said. "We decided to cook barbecue on the barbecue table and bring it out to them on a hot plate.

So while the tables inside sit empty, the grills sizzle with Yoon or his staff doing lots of cooking before racing out to diners with that hot food.

"I think that's pretty much the closest we can get," he said.

But like so many restaurateurs, Yoon is making the best of what this pandemic has wrought by offering takeout and delivery of raw meat the chef packages to cook at home. He also offers and gourmet picnics, reminiscent of a tradition popular where he grew up.

And while Yoon's father runs the business in South Korea, he's rooting for his son who us carrying on the tradition in New York.

"He calls me every day, asks me how I'm doing, the restaurant is doing, how's the business," Yoon said.

Yoon Haeundae Galbi is opens every day at 11 a.m., and the kitchen closes at 8:30 p.m. Yoon says he is looking forward to Phase 3, when some indoor seating will be allowed.


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