K-ROK Korean Barbecue & Karaoke nears Grand Rapids opening

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — What’s billed as downtown Grand Rapids’ first Korean barbecue restaurant and karaoke bar is expected to open this month.

K-ROK owner Robert Yoon says he started transforming the former hotel storage space on Louis Campau Promenade across from Rosa Parks Circle into the new business nearly two years ago.

(A Feb. 27, 2020 photo shows K-ROK Korean Barbecue & Karaoke overlooking Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids.)

Inside the restaurant, a locally crafted wood bar greets visitors. Red, black and white subway tile runs across the walls, an homage to the colors of South Korea’s flag. K-ROK’s name also contains elements of the flag and an acronym for the Republic of Korea.

(A Feb. 27, 2020 photo shows the custom wood bar inside K-ROK Korean Barbecue & Karaoke in downtown Grand Rapids.)

Guests who step into one of K-ROK’s three private karaoke rooms are instantaneously transported to Seoul’s popular Myeongdong Market via vivid murals.

“We want people to feel like they’re walking in Korea,” said Yoon.

(An undated courtesy photo from Emonae Korean BBQ shows dolsot bibimbap.)

The site at 169 Louis Campau Promenade NW is more than double his family’s current restaurant, Emonae Korean BBQ, on 28th Street in Cascade Township. Yoon says K-ROK will seat about 90 people, not including its karaoke rooms.

“This will hype up the night life,” he said.

Korean staples like bulgogi, kalbi, and dolsot bibimbap are expected to grace the menu, as well as Korean street food such as dukpokee.

Inlaid LED grills will allow guests to cook up their meals at their table.

Yoon says K-ROK will also offer a variety of Korean beers, soju and Korean soju cocktails.

(A Feb. 27, 2020 photo shows one of the grill tables inside K-ROK Korean barbecue restaurant and karaoke bar, located in downtown Grand Rapids.)

K-ROK is expected to open by the end of March. Right now, the business is hiring hosts and hostesses, line cooks, food preparers and servers, among other staff. The restaurant and karaoke bar will hold a job fair on site Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

K-ROK initially will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday with extended hours on weekends. The karaoke rooms will stay open an hour longer than the restaurant and be available by appointment on weekdays. On weekends, Yoon also recommends reserving the space.

Yoon says he’s still working on the hourly rental rate for the karaoke rooms, but package deals including food and drinks will be available.

(A Feb. 27, 2020 photo shows one of the signs for K-ROK Korean Barbecue & Karaoke in downtown Grand Rapids.)

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