Korean Street Food Restaurant to Open in Downtown Royal Oak


Gogi Seoul Kitchen, a restaurant serving Korean-inspired street food and traditional Asian beverages, is slated to open in Royal Oak on Tuesday, Jon Carlson, managing partner of the restaurant announced today.

Last winter, Carlson and his team traveled to South Korea to research culinary traditions and flavors of the region.

“We really wanted to take some traditional Korean dishes and infuse them with the flavors of other Asian cultures,” says Carlson.  “What we ended up with was a really cool menu of Korean-inspired street food that’s very approachable and authentic.”

One dish, kimchee, is a traditional side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables. There’s also Dolsot bi-bimbap, which is rice, bap sauce, seasonal vegetables, and a fried egg in a hot stone bowl. Another option will be beet poke salad made of roasted beets, orange, ginger, macadamias, wakame, avocado, and wasabi mash.

The food will be served in fast-casual style, with guests ordering at the counter and then waiting for delivery at tables.

Gogi Seoul Kitchen will share a bar with Jolly Pumpkin next door, which offers sour beer styles that will pair well with Gogi’s food, Carlson said.

“The marriage of fermented vegetables like in kimchee and sour beer is really a perfect union. We will also serve a variety of traditional Asian beverages, including Soju.”

Bastone Brewery, located in the basement of the building, will feature two new beers designed to complement the new Gogi menu. Gogi-Wan-Kenobi will be a slightly tart blonde beer, and Raspberry Kitten will be a French style Saison with raspberry.

Detroit artist and illustrator Ngianhormua Yang painted art on the walls.

“For Gogi, I wanted to create imagery that would activate the space; giving new life to the walls . . . utilizing the four guardians of the cardinal directions, this body of work was created as a symbol of good luck,” says Yang.

Carlson completed the renovation and grand opening of Jolly Pumpkin at 419 South Main, Royal Oak. Gogi Seoul Kitchen will be located at 109 E. Fifth St., on the east side of the Jolly Pumpkin’s space.

“We felt the excitement of the Royal Oak community was the perfect location to pair this with our current Jolly Pumpkin and Craft.  We’re thankful to have a great partner in Playground Brewery to share our brewing knowledge and business background,” says Carlson. “Our partnership goes beyond sharing brewing and culinary lessons, as we seek to appreciate the inspiring values of various cultures and build successful relationships with brewers and culinary professionals around the world.”

A grand opening for the restaurant will be at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5. Normal hours will be 4-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-12 a.m. Friday-Saturday, and 4-10 p.m. Sunday.

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