Apr 7, 2021, 2:38pm CDT
Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon has chosen Eagan and Roseville for its fourth and fifth Twin Cities locations. As many restaurants are still struggling to keep the lights on, one local restauranteur is rapidly expanding two chains — one national and one international — in the Twin Cities. On the heels of its announced plans to enter the market, Cajun seafood chain Million’s Crab is opening its fourth metro-area location in Brooklyn Park later this year. It's moving in to a more than 6,000-square-foot space at 8000 Brooklyn Blvd, which formerly housed Bakers Square. Meanwhile, Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon has chosen Eagan and Roseville for its fourth and fifth Twin Cities locations. The fourth location is set to open next week in a 2,500-square-foot space at 1346 Town Centre Drive in Eagan. For its fifth location, Bonchon will occupy a nearly 3,000-square-foot space at 2191 Snelling Ave. in the Rosewood Shopping Center in Roseville, next to one of the previously announced Million's Crab restaurants, and will likely open towards the end of summer. Million's Crab initially announced two locations — in Maplewood and Richfield — as part of its plan to enter the Twin Cities market. Days later it announced a third store in Roseville, in a former Outback Steakhouse. All three are expected to open this month or next. Minnesota's first Bonchon location opened in Uptown in 2018, followed by locations in the Mall of America, Dinkytown and Maple Grove in 2019. Sam Zheng owns all of the Million's Crab and Bonchon franchises in the Twin Cities. He's also the franchisee behind the Mango Mango Dessert locations in Dinkytown — in a storefront shared with Bonchon — and Maple Grove. Marshall Nguyen, vice president of Edina-based Caspian Group, is Zheng's broker and adviser who represented him in all of the recent lease transactions. Sara Martin of Colliers International represented the landlord in the Bonchon Roseville negotiations, while Charlie Hexum and Robert Wise of CBRE were on the landlord side of the Million's Crab Brooklyn Park deal. Zheng and Nguyen are working together on additional Million’s Crab, Bonchon and Mango Mango Dessert locations in the Twin Cities — including a Million's Crab in Minneapolis and a Bonchon and Mango Mango Dessert in Rochester — as well as other parts of the Midwest. They also plan to eventually bring different franchise concepts to Minnesota. Million's Crab currently has five open locations in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois, with others planned in the Midwest, including in Wisconsin, according to its website. Bonchon, based in South Korea, has more than 100 locations across the U.S.