The development of a Korean grill concept continues.
Cupbop, which was launched as an on-site food truck in April 2019 and added a kiosk along 16th Street Mall at the end of the year, is preparing to open three stationary locations.
Co-owner Yeiri Song said the restaurants in Highlands, Arvada and Aurora should open in the next three months.
“We’re excited to be introducing this new trend in Korean food to Denver and meeting all of the foodies,” said Song. “The Highlands location will be our main police kitchens in Denver, which will also power the kiosk and food truck.”
The company, which has offices in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and Colorado, offers a simple menu of meat, rice, and noodle dishes, all served in one cup. Customers can mix it with any of 10 sauces that range from 1 to 10 hot.
According to Song, the company signed a lease for the stationary locations three months ago.
The Highlands location at 3453 W. 32nd Ave. and the Arvada location at 7450 W. 52nd Ave. are expected to open in January. The Aurora location at 13700 E. Colfax Ave. according to the song should be between February and March.
The company will continue to operate its food truck and kiosk in the city center.
The Cupbop location in the highlands will also share a room with the Korean chain’s sister brand Ramen 930, a fast-paced Japanese ramen restaurant that already has a location in Salt Lake City.
“It’s called ramen 930 because our bone broth is cooked for over 24 hours and the ramen are fresh and ready to serve by 9:30 am,” said Song.
Cupbop was founded in Salt Lake City in 2013 by Song’s husband Junghun, along with friends Jihyung Park and Jongkun Kim, who met during a LDS mission in Korea and later moved to Utah together. The three friends wanted to introduce America to their heritage and love for Korean street food.
After a Korean documentary filmmaker debuted a film titled The Korean Convenience Food Reborn in America, which described Cupbop’s origins and success in the United States last year, Song and her husband Jung said they had inquiries from Koreans all over the world World to open a location in their country area.
The founders saw a lot of passion in Daniel Hyunmin Lim, who wanted to start a Cupbop franchise in Denver, and hired him to run their local business locations.
According to Song, Cupbop sales in Utah are up 20 percent year over year, largely due to the restaurant’s fast-casual style, which makes it easier to have take-away meals.
“We never want to give up. And while the pandemic was tough for any company, we wanted to use this time as an opportunity to expand and grow, ”said Song.