Madison Park has a way of backfilling its losses. A Thai restaurant is going away, and another will take its place. Long after losing its bookstore, a new one will soon open on East Madison Street.
But Hanok will be much different than the Bella Viet Café space it’s replacing. For one, it will be Korean food, not Vietnamese — Korean-fusion, to be precise.
Opening a restaurant has been a longtime dream for Lynnwood couple Han and Su Jung Kim.
“She’s the boss in the kitchen,” says Han Kim of his wife, who goes by Jade. “She loves cooking. Ever since I met her she’s made me wonderful meals and kept me healthy.”
Jade learned about traditional Korean cooking in Korea, Kim said, and fell in love with Italian, Mexican and other cuisine here in the United States.
“She’s been working on her own recipes for years,” said Kim, who will handle the front of the house and other restaurant business.
Her brother, Ted Kim, who co-owns Mura Asian Eatery in Magnolia with his wife, Kay, saw the Bella Viet Café space was available.
“It moved really fast,” Kim said. “We weren’t even thinking about opening up this year, but everything just fell into place.”
The goal is to open Hanok restaurant this fall.
A hanok is a traditional Korean house, with a focus on the land and seasons when orienting architecture. Kim has a design team that will be working on renovating the space.
“We’re not going to be able to tear down the building and build a new one,” he said, “but just a little decoration that makes you feel like you’re in a different atmosphere.”
The couple just received the keys to the space at 4021 E. Madison St., next to Scoop du Jour, on Aug. 16.
Jade has put in her notice at I Love Sushi, where she was a server, and Kim says the owner has been helping the couple out with advice on running a restaurant.
Bella Viet Café had been in that location since October 2014, but had been under new management prior to closing this year.