Manhattan, NY Eastern Consolidated’s retail leasing team has arranged a 15-year lease at 206 Spring St. in SoHo for a Korean barbeque restaurant operated by Julie Choi, whose family introduced authentic Korean cuisine to Manhattan in the 1970s at Woo Lae Oak and expanded the concept in 2005 to the highly rated Bann Restaurant now operating in Midtown West. Choi, who is the third generation working in her family’s 70-year-old restaurant business, will be taking 7,500 s/f. The space, located between Sullivan St. and Sixth Ave., consists of the ground floor, which includes the kitchen and a small dining room; second floor, which includes seating for 250 guests; and lower level, which includes space for kitchen support.
James Famularo, senior director and principal, represented the landlord, while Ravi Idnani, director, represented the tenant.
“This is the most unique restaurant space in SoHo and every chef we showed it to walked away saying ‘wow’,” Famularo said. “The three levels offer the best of the best in the restaurant business including a renovated kitchen, walk in boxes, and a wine room.”
The new restaurant also will benefit from the remarkable changes on Spring St., according to Famularo, including new condo developments, hotels, and restaurants such as Manhattan’s latest hot restaurant a few doors down, Café Altro Paradiso.
Idnani said, “The Choi family’s name is synonymous with authentic Korean cuisine in an upscale setting. This restaurant will be run by Julie Choi, who has received training in the culinary arts and an education in international hospitality, and plans to build on her family’s excellent reputation in this downtown location.”
Choi’s grandmother opened the first Woo Lae Oak restaurant in Seoul, South Korea, in 1946 and brought the concept to the United States. Her mother, Young Sook Choi, later established multiple successful restaurants for Woo Lae Oak and Bann on both coasts. Woo Lae Oak opened in Midtown in 1974, in Los Angeles’ Koreatown area in 1975, in Beverly Hills in 1993, and in SoHo in 1999. In addition to the Midtown West location, the family also operates a second Bann restaurant in Los Angeles in the original Woo Lae Oak restaurant space.