Korean-Mexican restaurant expanding in Naperville
About seven years ago, Chef David Choi, sold his car to buy a used food truck. The entrepreneur grew his business and is now preparing to open his sixth and seventh Seoul Taco restaurants.
Choi, owner of Seoul Taco, a Korean-Mexican fast casual brand, is expanding to Naperville and Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood.
The menu combines Choi's mastery of classic Korean BBQ with a fun nod to Mexican street fare.
Choi says he saw an ad on Craigslist in 2011 for a pre-owned food truck in Washington D.C. Living in St. Louis, he sold his car and bought a plane ticket to purchase the food truck. He drove it home and started Seoul Taco. He now operates his food truck alongside his existing restaurants in St. Louis, Columbia and Chesterfield, Missouri and Champaign and Chicago, Illinois.
The new restaurants, to operate at 1321 E. 57th St. in Chicago and at 206 S. Washington St. in Naperville, are expected to open this winter.
"Following the success of our first Chicago restaurant, we've been looking to open in communities that would embrace the Seoul Taco concept," Choi said. "Both Naperville and Hyde Park are home to vibrant business districts and residential neighborhoods comprised of families, students and young professionals. Our team looks forward to continuing to build the Seoul Taco brand within Chicagoland."
Seoul Taco's menu showcases the recipes and flavors of Choi's childhood in an innovative way. Guests can pick their protein for dishes such as the Bulgogi Steak Tacos with Korean salad mix, green onion, secret "Seoul Sauce," crushed sesame seeds, and a wedge of lime; or one of Choi's favorites, the Spicy Pork Gogi Bowl, his take on bibimbap, with rice, fresh veggies, fried egg, carrots, green onion, sesame oil, and spicy Gochujang pepper sauce.
Guests to Seoul Taco's new locations can also enjoy the brand's newest menu item, Gogi & Waffles, a bed of sweet potato waffle fries topped with guest's choice of protein, housemade kimchi, sesame seeds, green onion, queso blanco and spicy Seoul sauce.
Both the Hyde Park and Naperville locations will offer catering options for 10-30 guests, and customizable packages for parties of 30 and more.
The business started as a food truck. Choi said Seoul Taco's mobile beginnings helped the concept quickly gain a following among urban Millennials, who say they enjoy the affordable, approachable take on grab-and-go meals with fresh ingredients.