4/13/2018, 11:58am CDT
Bonchon Bonchon, which is coming to Minneapolis, specializes in Korean-style fried chicken. A New York-based quick-serve chicken restaurant with an international following is opening a couple locations in Minneapolis. Bonchon, which specializes in Korean-style fried chicken and Asian-fusion cuisine, is opening in the former Uptown Davanni's space at 1414 W. Lake St. and the former Vescio's Italian Restaurant site in Dinkytown at 406 14th Ave. SE. These are the first Bonchon locations in Minnesota; the closest other outlets in the New York-based chain are in Chicago. The company is most known for its Korean fried chicken offerings, which is different from American-style fried chicken because it's fried twice to make it crispier. Both restaurants will be franchised by restaurateur Sam Zheng, who also has several local buffet concepts like Lakes Buffet in Richfield and Royal Buffet in Burnsville. The Dinkytown Bonchon is slated to open in the late summer. Vescio's Italian Restaurant closed at the location in February after 60 years. The space is about 3,200 square feet. Marshall Nguyen with Edina-based Caspian Group facilitated the deal for Zheng to open Bonchon in Dinkytown. "We have such a big Asian community of students down at the University of Minnesota and this has been what they’ve wanted: Korean fried chicken with flavorful recipes," Nguyen said. The Uptown Bonchon is scheduled to open in July, Zheng said. Davanni's closed at the site last summer. The location is about 3,400 square feet. Both the Uptown and Dinkytown restaurants will apply for liquor licenses; some Bonchon's offer beer and craft cocktails. As of last summer, there are over 200 Bonchon restaurants in nine countries — including the Philippines, Thailand, Kuwait and Singapore — with more than 60 in the United States, the company's website said. Founded in 2002, Bonchon opened its first restaurant in South Korea. Its first U.S. restaurant opened in New Jersey in 2006.