KOREATOWN (CBSLA) — Yet another casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bulgogi Hut in Koreatown, has been forced to close indefinitely.
In its place, owner Chris Kang has opened the Chicken Hut to keep business afloat — but she knows it is not the same.
“It’s like every day I think… should I go on or should I give up?” she said.
As she fights back tears, she explains the struggle of owning and running a restaurant during the pandemic.
“It’s been really hard,” she said. “We’ve been constantly renovating, constantly trying to meet the cities guidelines.”
Bulgogi Hut, an all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue restaurant, has been closed for months.
Kang has been forced to adapt by creating a pop-up business to keep her employees and herself financially stable.
Her new outdoor concept, Chicken Hut, is her way of trying to keep customers from forgetting about her restaurant altogether.
“We have to change our menu where people that love our food can take it home to cook it themselves as a barbecue kit, or they can also come in and have food already prepped by our chefs,” she said.
Before the pandemic, Kang said people would wait in line for hours just to eat there. Wednesday night, she served just three tables.
Kang’s daughter, Michelle, posted on social media about the restaurant’s struggle, explaining that her mother is a South Korean immigrant and is doing everything she can to save her business.
One of the people hoping to help is food blogger Kevin Noparbar.
“I’m gonna come here and give them some exposure, and hopefully drive some business their way,” he said. “I know a lot of restaurants right now need it.”