Korean barbecue chain Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong is being flooded with one-star Yelp reviews after an owner posted a video of BTS K-pop band members dining at the restaurant — with the supergroup’s rabid fans angry at the owner’s comments about the band and claiming that he violated privacy rights.
The wildly popular global band dined at the Midtown outpost of the restaurant Tuesday night, when co-owner Bobby Kwak caught them on camera and shared the visit on his personal Instagram.
The post has since been taken down, but a screenshot posted by a Yelp reviewer shows that it read, “Maybe I am being too harsh or maybe it’s way past my time but I feel like Big Bang [editor’s note: another Korean boy band] had more talent than BTS. Kinda like Jordan vs. Lebron debate but I will admit they are slowly growing onto me.”
He ends the post saying, “At least they know where to get good KBBQ!” Eater has reached out to Kwak for more information.
Both his video and his caption apparently severely offended BTS super-fans, with dozens of people taking to Yelp to fire back at Kwak. Several are accusing him of having hidden cameras in the restaurant and that secretly video taping the musicians was a violation of their privacy. In a new Instagram post, Kwak denies that there are secret cameras in his restaurant and apologizes to the group and its fans.
“The video taken yesterday was not done by Baekjeong the restaurant but by myself personally while I was eating there,” he writes. “There are no hidden cameras, and I take full responsibility. I got star struck.”
BTS fans — which have been dubbed an “ARMY,” or Adorable Representative of MC Youth — are particularly intense, and Kwak isn’t the first to feel their wrath. Last week, a Post reporter detailed how the ARMY targeted him for simply tweeting that he was going viral because of previous tweet about the band.
Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong is a celebrity hot spot, attracting stars like Rachael Ray, the late Anthony Bourdain, Ed Sheeran, Dominique Ansel, David Chang, the Williams sisters, Maria Sharapova, and Chris Rock in the past. The band, in town for two sold-out shows in Jersey, reportedly is a fan of Baekjeong’s sister restaurant in LA.
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Just want to apologize to BTS and all the BTS fans out there. The video taken yesterday was not done by Baekjeong the restaurant but by myself personally while i was eating there. There are no hidden cameras and i take full responsibility. I got star struck. I hope all the fans and the members of BTS will be forgiving and know it was done with zero malice.
The restaurant’s Yelp page has since been flagged due to “unusual activity.”