Few names conjure crispy chicken among Koreaphiles in the know quite like BonChon Chicken. Since debuting in Busan, South Korea in 2002, the business has already ballooned to include 188 stores. But the chain, a hit in the U.S. since the 2006 opening of the Fort Lee, N.J. location, is still growing fast.
The Houston area will get its first taste of twice-fried BonChon wings in the latter half of April, when a store opens in Katy. But a silent partner working with primary franchisee Wenny Blackman tells us anonymously that they've signed a deal to bring five BonChons to Houstonia in the coming months. "If Katy does well, Houston will be next," he confirms. No location has been selected yet for the first store in the city proper. An unaffiliated franchisee is planning a BonChon in Pearland, as well.
This isn't the first time BonChon has hit Texas; a store opened in Dallas in December of 2013, before closing the following August. At the time, franchise manager Mike Kim released a statement saying, "We feel the BonChon concept might have been premature for the Dallas market, and are currently developing new offerings that might appeal better to the American public in general… We still think that there are excellent opportunities for BonChon Chicken in the Texas area." Here's hoping.
According to our fried chicken Deep Throat, the Katy location will serve far more than just wings. There will certainly be wings, drums and strips in signature hot and soy-garlic sauces, but also a full menu of Korean classics. Though the menu hasn't yet been cemented, our informant says to expect spicy tteokbokki rice cakes, japchae, bulgogi wraps and chicken katus, as well as a full bar well-supplied with soju.
Look for more in this space as the Katy debut draws closer.