Today's Special: Korean grill opening soon on Neil Street

Today's Special: Korean grill opening soon on Neil Street

CHAMPAIGN — Yori Q, a Korean grill and bar, will be the successor to Kamakura restaurant at 715 S. Neil St., C.

The restaurant, which could open as soon as late this week, is an enterprise of Danny Oh, who already has launched several restaurant concepts in West Lafayette, Ind.

The grill section of Yori Q will prepare cuts of beef, pork and chicken at the outset, with grilled seafood to be offered later, Oh said.

The restaurant will also serve soups, stir-fry dishes, hot and cold noodle dishes and rice bowl entrees, said Hoon Kim, the general manager and managing partner of the Champaign location.

Yori Q will have separate menus for lunch, dinner and late-night, as well as a kids' menu. Lunch hours will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., dinner hours from 5 to 9:30 p.m. and late-night from 10 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Wednesday and from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The grill section will be open only during evening hours, and the late-night menu will be "similar to but simpler than" the dinner menu. On Sundays, the restaurant will be open only for dinner and late-night, Oh said.

Lunch prices are expected to range from $7 to $15, while dinners will generally cost from $10 to $20.

Oh, 33, moved from South Korea to the Chicago area when he was 11. He attended Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and worked as a chef in St. Louis before friends at Purdue University urged him to come to West Lafayette.

There he opened AHZ-The Asian Kitchen, a fast casual Japanese-style restaurant that serves sushi rolls. Today, AHZ has a location in the Purdue student union, and Oh expects to add a second location at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo this fall.

Earlier this year, Oh opened his first Yori restaurant in West Lafayette. However, that location does not offer a barbecue grill section, and hence does not have "Q" as part of its name.

Oh plans to introduce his third concept — Bubble Bubble, a bubble tea and dessert bar — in a corner of Yori Q, just to the right of the entrance. He also hopes to launch a Bubble Bubble location on the Western Michigan campus.

For three years — from 2010 to 2013 — Oh operated Oh Fusion, a Japanese fine-dining restaurant in Muncie, Ind., near Ball State University. But he closed that restaurant when the building was scheduled to be torn down and rebuilt.

Hoon Kim, the general manager in Champaign, is 25. He too moved from South Korea to Chicago when he was in middle school. He got a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University in advertising, but said his passion has always been the restaurant business. He worked as general manager of Yori in West Lafayette before taking his current job.

The head chef in Champaign will be Manja Shin, who worked at a Korean restaurant in the Los Angeles area before going to work for Oh.

Yori Q's phone number — 351-9898 — is the same one that Kamakura used. The restaurant is expected to employ about 30, and updates on Yori Q will be posted on the restaurant's Facebook page.

Oh said parking for Yori Q will be available on a lot on Randolph Street, in back of the building, as well as on the lot immediately north of the restaurant.

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