A Korean barbecue chain is working on establishing a new location in Amarillo by next year.
Dae Gee Korean BBQ is a restaurant chain founded in Colorado. When local entrepreneur Phuc Nguyen contacted franchise founder Joseph Kim, they decided to open two new locations in Amarillo.
“When I was down there, I realized there was nothing else like it in Amarillo. … We are very excited to bring a different flavor and variety to the city with a certain diversity,” Kim said.
These two new sites will be the first established outside the state of Colorado and the first of their kind to enter Amarillo.
“I’ve traveled to other cities and seen the options and the variety they have. Then I come back, and I talk to people here, and they say they’ve never tried this or this. So I thought, why not bring these things here, instead of traveling to (get them), because I love Amarillo. I live here and my family lives here, so why not make it an option here?” Nguyen said.
Founded in 2012 and franchised since 2021, Dae Gee, which means “pig” in Korean, currently has five company-owned restaurants open and operating in Colorado’s Front Range. The chain is very much like the traditional Korean barbecue, which exposes customers to an all-you-can-eat, interactive experience that allows them to cook their own meat on the grill at their table when dining.
Hungry attendees will have the option to choose from a variety of traditional Korean meats like Galbee (beef ribs), Sam Gyeob Sal (sliced pork belly) and Dak Bulgogi (chicken), which are marinated in the marinade secret of Dae Gee. Each meat of choice, as well as the fish and vegetarian dishes, can be enjoyed in a bowl, a hot stone pot or tucked into lettuce and eaten in a wrap. Appetizers can be stacked with your choice of sides or mixes, including rice, fresh coleslaw, hot sauce and a variety of nine side dishes, such as kimchee, broccoli, radishes and fish cakes.
Each restaurant will occupy approximately 1,500 to 2,000 square feet and employ up to 10 people.
The restaurants will be owned and operated by Nguyen, who owns and operates the two Venetian Nail locations in Amarillo. A location has yet to be determined for the restaurants, but Nguyen and Kim hope to open the first of two restaurants within the next 12 months.
Nguyen said he hopes to organize a KBBQ sample opportunity for the community to come out and try before the restaurant officially opens.
“It’s authentic food, and it’s an experience, and I’m excited to bring it to Amarillo,” Nguyen said.