Soon there will be more seats at the bar to try the less expensive menu at Momofuku Ko. David Chang’s restaurant at 4-8 Extra Place is expanding to the building next door, which will usher in a bigger waiting area, six or seven more tables, and an expanded bar/chef counter by about 14 seats, according to plans submitted to Community Board 3.
Chang confirms the expansion and does not anticipate the restaurant having to close during renovation. He says he doesn’t know yet when it’ll be finished since it’s the early stages.
Having opened in 2008, Momofuku Ko moved to Extra Place in 2014 and about nine months ago, took over the additional space at 12 Extra Place, says Chang — and they’ve been working on a plan to use the space for Ko since. The expansion is a move that gives more responsibility to executive chef Sean Gray who’s been with Chang for over ten years as well as general manager Su Wong Ruiz who has worked for him for six years.
“. . . it's about making Ko better and having it set up properly for our guests,” Chang says, noting that currently, customers enter at the bar and wait for seats in the same space at the bar, which can get a little “chaotic.” A new entrance in the new space will redirect customers and offer a waiting area, as well as allow more space for the less formal Ko experience at the bar.
A restaurant doing well enough to expand is a turnaround for Extra Place which has been tough for restaurants and retail, with Red Hook Lobster Pound among recent closings.
This newest development falls among the slew of changes in the Chang universe, between his hiring corporate exec Alex Munoz-Suarez to run restaurants nationwide and the folding of Lucky Peach most recently.