A new $6 million Midtown food hall will bring popular Asian restaurant brands like Taiwanese boba hit Tiger Sugar and Korean egg sandwich shop Eggdrop under one roof starting next summer.
The ambitious K-Food Gallery opening at 218 West 40th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, will house 16 food and dessert restaurants, mostly from Korea. The 23,000-square-foot market will be housed on the ground floor of a 12-story office building in a space that has mezzanine and basement levels, too. It’ll be a big venue, with room for up to 200 people.
Aside from Tiger Sugar and Eggdrop, other vendors that have signed on include Korean fried chicken restaurant BB.Q Chicken, which has a location in Koreatown; Korean comfort food restaurant Marrizzang, which has a location in Flushing; and popular KBBQ spot Jongro BBQ, whose owners are behind the new project.
Group KFF, the parent company behind NYC Korean barbecue restaurants Jongro BBQ and Dons Bogam, has invested $6 million into the project, half of which is funding the interior design and several high-tech amenities like self-ordering kiosks. Things like GPS technology will allow diners to order from kiosks and have food delivered directly to their tables based on their smartphone’s location. And fitting in with its location near Times Square, the food hall will also have a giant LED glass exterior that displays different visuals meant to attract people to dine.
K-Food Gallery joins the existing Food Gallery 52 in nearby Koreatown, which also primarily serves Asian food. But other than that, most other Asian-focused food markets are found over in Flushing. This will be the first mainly Korean food hall in Manhattan.
Group KFF president Choi Kyung Rim says the goal is to continue building awareness around Korean cuisine. The group also wants to expand Koreatown westward into the Times Square area, as well as create Korean enclaves in other parts of the city. A spokesperson for the project says two additional NYC locations are in the works.
The group has wild expansion plans around the country, too. Kyung Rim tells Eater via email that his group is looking at opening in L.A., Las Vegas, Seattle, San Francisco, Honolulu, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Boston.
K-Food Gallery opens in Midtown in summer 2020; stay tuned.