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Michelin-Acclaimed Korean Barbecue Reveals Location For Upcoming Restaurant

San Soo Korean BBQ is targeting a summer opening

Black Iron Tavern Photos Eater Inside Michael Taus
Black Iron Tavern is closed.
Marc Much
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Chicagoans finally know where San Soo Gab San, the acclaimed Korean barbecue, is opening their new location: they’re taking over the Black Iron Tavern in River West. San Soo Korean BBQ should open sometime this summer at 401 N. Milwaukee Avenue. San Soo is the only Korean barbecue recognized by Michelin, as the restaurant — for the first time — in October was named a Bib Gourmand.

San Soo has been around Chicago for more than 25 years and they presently operate two locations: one on Foster and Western, and another in suburban Morton Grove. The family of Christopher Kim runs the restaurants, and Kim wants to liven things up with a third location. The new River West restaurant will feature cocktails and even Korean tacos. The more modern restaurant is a collaboration between Kim, Alvin Kang (The Angry Crab) and Zach Friedlander (Aloha Poke Co.). There’s dreams of taking the concept national, much in the same way Friedlander is opening Aloha Pokes from LA to Washington, D.C.

Black Iron closed in December. The San Soo team wanted to give the bar’s owners a chance to communicate with staff members before making the announcement. Black Iron had a two-year run.

The ownership trio is keen on a new ventilation system they’re installing. They’ll have 16 Korean grill tables, but hope the new system will prevent customers from smelling too smoky. It’s not so much people hate bringing the smell of Korean barbecue with them, but it’s unfair to taunt friends who didn’t eat Korean barbecue and make them jealous with the smell. It only serves as a reminder that not everyone got to eat marinated meats and such.

Check back for more updates in the coming months.

Black Iron Tavern

401 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 690-4000

San Soo Gab San

5247 North Western Avenue, , IL 60625 (773) 334-1589 Visit Website

San Soo Korean BBQ

401 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60654 (312) 243-3344 Visit Website