After growing up in South Korea and living in New York and Florence, Italy, Georgetown MBA student Eunjung Kim has been spoiled by great food.
"I was a little bit let down by the food scene in D.C., and I really wanted to do something about it," says 29-year-old Kim. "In New York, every time I go back and visit there, there's another Korean restaurant opening every month."
Her solution: Zannchi, a casual Korean eatery coming to Georgetown that will serve bibimbap (hot stone rice bowls) and kimbap (sushi rolls minus the raw fish).
Although this is her first business, Kim isn't a total stranger to the restaurant world. Her family owns a chain of restaurants in Korea, and they helped supply Kim with recipes for things like bulgogi and dumplings. "I just wanted to take it to the next level, streamline it, make it more casual, make it more local-friendly," she says.
Zannchi, meaning "feast," will offer six types of bibimbap, including one topped with bulgogi and another with tofu and avocado. Kim says the menu will be fairly traditional, although she points out that avocado is not very common in Korean cuisine. There will also be six types of kimbap plus dumplings and banchan. The place will be open for lunch and dinner.
The restaurant will serve a selection of teas until it gets a liquor license, at which point Kim plans to add Korean beers, soju cocktails, and makgeolli (a type of fermented rice wine). The 40-seat restaurant also has a back garden that will open later on.
Kim is putting all this together while still attending classes at Georgetown. She's part of an entrepreneur club on campus, and her professors have been guiding her through the development of the business from the beginning. Kim plans to open the restaurant by the end of March—just before her May graduation.
Zannchi, 1529 Wisconsin Ave NW