Fast-casual Korean food restaurant SeoulSpice will double its D.C.-area locations with three new openings this year, serving recipes the owner says have been passed down through the family from generation to generation.
Eric Shin opened the first SeoulSpice location in 2016 in D.C.’s NoMa neighborhood. Two more locations in Tenleytown and in College Park, Maryland, opened in 2017.
SeoulSpice calls its menu healthy Korean comfort food; it includes Korean-style rice bowls, noodle bowls, salads made with Shin family recipes and Kimbap burritos — or Koritos (Korean-style burritos).
SeoulSpice also sells at-home Korean BBQ kits, along with Korean butane gas grills. The $99 kits include the table-top grill, three pounds of meats, rice and side dishes. SeoulSpice says the kits feed four. It also serves other family-sized meal packages.
SeoulSpice will open a new location in May at the Westfield Montgomery Mall Food Court.
Shin has also signed leases for 439 7th St. NW, in Penn Quarter, which will open in July. A third, smaller location focused on carryout and delivery will open in October in Rosslyn, Virginia at the International Place building on N. Lynn Street.
“Each location was selected to adapt our concept into a variety of retail settings: mall food court, a small take-out hub and a location that reimagines the fast-casual experience in response to COVID-19,” said Shin.
The Penn Quarter location has open stadium seating suited for social distancing.
Shin, like every restaurant owner, had to pivot quickly when the pandemic hit. Last spring, the restaurant started a mobile bodega, offering free next day delivery of grocery items and family meals. The Korean BBQ kit service was another pandemic-inspired addition.
The three new D.C.-area restaurants are the beginning of potentially more expansion.
“We plan to continue our growth in the metro D.C. area, and we also have our eyes on some other East Coast markets,” Shin said.