K-Bop has opened a new location on Cherokee Street in St. Louis
Popular Korean restaurant K-Bop opened its second location opened Friday, Aug. 18, at 2609 Cherokee St. in south St. Louis. Taking over the space that once housed Morning Glory Diner, K-Bop has brought its loyal following and familiar menu to a new corner of the city. The choice to open on Cherokee Street was, in part, thanks to K-Bop’s customers, said founder Yu Duck Lee. Following the success of their first brick-and-mortar location on the Delmar Loop, Lee found a demand from patrons to expand to South City.
K-Bop has preserved the menu and atmosphere that made it a success on the Loop, though the new space is about half the size of the Delmar location at just 400 square feet, with six tables and 20 seats. Customers can expect K-Bop classics like CupBop bowls, chicken katsu, bulgogi beef and bibimbop, as well as bottled Korean drinks.
K-Bop originally started in 2017 as a food truck that operated in and around St. Louis until this year, including at Sauce Magazine’s Food Truck Fridays at Tower Grove Park. Lee hopes to have the necessary permits to begin operating the truck again next year. The first K-Bop brick-and-mortar location opened in 2020 due the pandemic because there wasn’t anywhere to go with the truck, and Lee and his team noticed the popularity of food delivery services with the stay-at-home mandates. The Delmar location experienced much success, with most customers purchasing meals for takeout, though the restaurant has seen a notable uptick in dine-in customers lately.
Lee, who also owns Kampai Sushi Bar in the Central West End, decided to bring Korean food to St. Louis after noticing its growing popularity in other big cities across the U.S. He felt that K-Bop would have a unique standing in the St. Louis food scene, bringing in a distinctive cuisine with a casual feel. “When people in St. Louis think of Korean food, the first place I want them to think [of] is K-Bop,” Lee said.
In the next few years, Lee hopes to continue to have his pulse on where his customers are located, with the intention of opening one or two more locations. In addition to dine-in service, K-Bop is available for takeout or via third-party delivery services. Both K-Bop locations are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.