Diners at Dak & Bop this year might not’ve known it, but they’ve been guinea pigs for owner Jason Cho’s next location in the Heights. Cho committed to the upcoming second Dak & Bop location in Timbergrove in July, but even before then, he was trying out menu items like kimchi and bacon carbonara at the original Museum District restaurant, which opened in 2014.
“They didn’t know that they were our research and development,” he joked. Dak & Bop will soon open into 1805 West 18th Street in the former home of Italian restaurant La Vista 101. The pizza oven, fixtures, and equipment left over in the space inspired Cho to think Italian-Korean fusion (instead of the Tex-Mex/Mexican influences found in the original location).
He’s heard of and visited Korean restaurants that serve Korean-Italian dishes in cities like New York and Chicago, and he thinks this is something that Houston is missing. “I have confidence in the city that they will be receptive to it as long as it executed correctly,” says Cho, explaining about Dak & Bop: “I never intended to be a traditional Korean restaurant.”
Besides that kimchi pasta dish, he’s experimenting with flatbreads and pizzas with Korean ingredients. The full-service Dak & Bop will serve brunch as well — and cocktails and desserts. Of course, made-to-order Korean fried chicken will be on the menu at the neighborhood restaurant, with some new sauces for this location.
The plan is to open in mid-to-late October, after a renovation that will give the space the same inviting, rustic feel as the first location. Cho’s been looking to open a second location for awhile and actually looked at this spot previously (before La Vista, back when it was a Pizza Hut).
“Friends that live in the neighborhood, they have been asking me for years to open in that location,” he said, and he noted that customers from The Heights have been asking the same thing. “I don’t know if everyone is saying that because they want a shorter drive,” he joked. Stay tuned for Dak & Bop’s Timbergrove location’s opening date.
- Dak & Bop’s Korean Fried Chicken is Worth the Wait [EHOU]
- Dak & Bop [Official Site]