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LA Korean Barbecue Hit Ahgassi Gopchang Is Opening Its First New York Location

The popular restaurant is taking over the old Baekjeong space

An overhead photograph of a table crowded with banchan and grilled offal at Ahgassi Gopchang.
Ahgassi Gopchang is opening its first New York location. The restaurant is known for intestines and offal.
Wonho Frank Lee/Eater LA

One of Koreatown’s most popular restaurants recently closed after nine years. Baekjeong, considered to be one of the top KBBQ spots in town, shuttered at the start of the year. But it’s not over for the brand: Owners Bobby Kwak and Joseph Ko are moving Baekjeong down the street and turning its former home into the first New York location of Ahgassi Gopchang, a Los Angeles restaurant that specializes in grilled intestines.

In Los Angeles, Ahgassi Gopchang is considered a favorite among celebrities. (Kim Seok-jin of the K-pop group BTS once called it his “number one Korean restaurant.”) The Manhattan location opens on February 20; it has 34 tables spread out over two levels and a refurbished dining room with custom light fixtures and pastel colors. The opening hours are 5 p.m. to midnight, seven days a week.

The decision to close Baekjeong wasn’t because of slow business. It was exactly the opposite: The restaurant was open for nine years at 1 E. 32nd Street, at Fifth Avenue, and outgrew the space, Kwak says. This fall, he will reopen Baekjeong a block away as Baekjeong Black, a 300-seat restaurant with premium meats. When it opens, it will be the largest restaurant in Koreatown (49 W. 32nd Street, at Broadway).

Like Ahgassi, Baekjeong has another location in Los Angeles. Both businesses are owned by Kijung Hospitality Group, which operates several locations on the West Coast. Kwak and Ko run the franchises in New York City. In addition to Baekjeong, they are also behind Nōksu, a fine dining restaurant in the Herald Square subway station, and the Korean gelato shop Sundaes Best.