Koreans were first introduced to fried chicken when U.S. military forces were based in South Korea during the Korean War in the late 1940s and from there it began a love story of sorts with Koreans adding their own spin to this American tradition.
As the Korean food scene continues to grow in the U.S., this spin on fried chicken has gained a foothold. Franchises under the umbrella of bb.q Chicken, founded 25 years ago in Korea, are starting to pop up in America, so much so that bb.q landed on the Nation’s Restaurant News’ fastest growing restaurant chains list (number 12 in 2021). The Newark location will be the first in Delaware. Other locations exist in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Texas and Illinois.
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Newark Franchisee Jin Yum says he always wanted to open a restaurant. A 2002 University of Delaware grad, Yum loves cooking for his wife and daughters. He loved it so much that he decided to change careers from computer programming to bb.q restaurant owner. He says what sets his chicken apart is the two-day marinating technique followed by frying. After frying to a perfect crunch, the chicken can be tossed in sauce and still maintain its crispiness.
Popular menu items at other locations include Gangnam-Style Wings (jumbo fried wings bathed in a sweet aromatic black pepper sauce topped with green onions, garlic and fresh peppers), Honey Garlic (fried chicken pieces tossed in a soy-based sweet and savory sauce) and Golden Original Chicken Strips (tenders that are seasoned and fried to perfection with a crispy exterior).
The menu features intriguing options like Pickled Daikon Radish, Kimchi Fried Rice and Ddeok Bokki, rice cakes and fish cakes in a sweet and spicy red chili sauce. Yum says he is also excited to give back to the community. He plans to partner with nonprofit Sean’s House to help them raise funds by hosting events at the new chicken restaurant and donating portions of the proceeds. And Youdee, the University of Delaware mascot, will also be making appearances at the new restaurant.
Plans are to open in mid-May at 165 S. Main Street, Unit 117 in Newark. Look for updates here.
Related: 6 Must-Try Restaurants and Cafés Coming to Delaware in 2022