New Korean BBQ restaurant expected to open in Pocatello this month - East Idaho News

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New Korean BBQ restaurant expected to open in Pocatello this month

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POCATELLO- The owners of Hokkaido Ramen & Sushi Bar in Pocatello are preparing to open a new spot within walking distance of their successful restaurant.

Kingpot Korean BBQ and Hot Pot will be located at 1599 Yellowstone Avenue — the site of the recently closed Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant.

It is expected to open the week before Christmas, according to Josh Gonzales, who manages Hokkaido. However, due to some delays, Gonzales told EastIdahoNews.com that the grand opening might be pushed back to mid-January.

Gonzales, who will manage both Hokkaido and Kinpot once the latter opens, said the new restaurant will be a classic Korean BBQ and hot pot eatery, with all-you-can-eat food prepared at the table.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be all-you-can eat, though,” he said, “if you want to do a la carte, you can.”

Asked if there is any concern over opening a second restaurant less than 100 yards from the first, Gonzales said that was something he considered when the plan was first hatched, but he does not believe it will be an issue.

“Anybody who knows anything about Asian cuisine will know they’re two totally different stuff,” he said. “I feel like we have one of the best sushi spots in town and that, even if we were next door — like, literally next door — it wouldn’t really matter much.”

Kingpot Korean BBQ and Hot Pot
Kingpot, coming soon to 1599 Yellowstone Avenue. | Kalama Hines, EastIdahoNews.com

Kingpot will begin hiring “very soon,” Gonzales said. Front-of-house, back-of-house and management positions will be available, with the restaurant expecting to hire around 40 new employees.

The new restaurant will have a full bar, though Gonzales said it will open carrying just beer, wine, sake and soju — rice wines — at first to gauge customer interest in alcohol.

New chain restaurant

Less than a mile from the site of what will soon be Kingpot, the popular chain restaurant Wingstop is preparing to open at 4013 Yellowstone Avenue.

EastIdahoNews.com requested an expected opening date from the Wingstop corporation but did not receive a response.

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