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Gen Korean BBQ House to fire up seen-better-days 6th Ave. strip

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | From 99-cent pizza to premium pork belly. …

With Angus brisket, garlic chicken, large ox intestine and more on its menu, a new Korean restaurant in Greenwich Village where a cheap-slices joint once was promises to be an all-you-can-eat meat lovers’ orgy.

The new carnivore destination, slated to open on Sixth Avenue, is part of a popular California-based chain that already has one recently opened location near Union Square.

Back in November, The Village Sun first reported the down-on-its-heels Central Village strip was on track to get a new Asian eatery to fill the vacant space at 388-392 Sixth Ave. The property, between Eighth Street and Waverly Place, was formerly home to a 99 Cent Pizza place and Grab and Go and Staples stores. At that time, though, the operator was not yet being made public.

A sample spread for a dining party’s meal at a Gen Korean BBQ House. Some of the tables sport a grill in the center to cook the meats. (Gen Korean BBQ House)

However, Caroline Benveniste, The Village Sun’s ubiquitous Comings & Goings columnist, recently saw a notice posted in the spot’s window for a June 6 Community Board 2 public hearing at which a liquor license application for Gen Korean BBQ House will be presented.

The place is applying for a restaurant liquor license, plus a beer and wine license.

Based on the questionnaire filled out by founding co-partner David Kim and posted on the C.B. 2 Web site, this is going to be quite a large restaurant. The application states a total occupancy of 379 persons for the 7,223-square-foot space, with the footage divided equally over the first and second floors. Per the plan, there would be 86 tables with 340 seats, plus two bars with 29 total seats, along with a 10-seat sushi bar.

A submitted sample menu includes red and white wine, sake and soju, plus cocktails.

The proposed operating hours are 11 a.m. to midnight seven days a week. There would be background-level recorded music but no live music.

The applicant says there is a plan for to deal with vehicles and crowd control, but it does not appear to be attached to the application.

A design rendering for the first floor showing the seating plan. (Gen Korean BBQ House)

The expected opening date was not immediately known but Benveniste will likely nail it down shortly in her upcoming next C&G column.

Early last year, the chain opened its first New York City location at the southwest corner of E. 14th Street and Third Avenue. As Benveniste reported back then, “Gen Korean BBQ House is a new, all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue restaurant originally from California, and now with locations in Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Hawaii and the Philippines. For $31, diners have two hours to grill and eat a selection of meats. Previously, 5 Napkin Burger and Tamam falafel occupied the space.”

The all-you-can-eat lunch menu is $10 cheaper than the dinner version.

There are a few rules, though. As mentioned above, there’s a two-hour limit for gorging. It’s dine-in only — no to-go orders. All food must be consumed in the restaurant, and leftovers cannot be taken home. In addition, the menu states: “Extra charges will be applied to uneaten food.” That’s good for the place’s bottom line, and also why waste meat?

Most of the chain’s more than 30 U.S. outlets are in California, which boasts 20 of them. In one of their Golden State eateries, the company reportedly used robot servers.

The property’s bottom two floors will house a Korean barbecue place, part of which will wrap around one of the W. Fourth Street subway entrance/exit staircases, where a Grab and Go store used to be. (Photo by The Village Sun)

The C.B. 2 State Liquor Licensing Committee is slated to hear a presentation on the Gen Korean BBQ House liquor-license application on Thurs., June 6, at St. Anthony of Padua Church, at 155 Sullivan St. The meeting, in-person only and which also will have other business’s applications on the agenda, starts at 6:30 p.m.

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