Exclusive: Bonchon Will Open Its First DC Location

The Korean fried-chicken chain brings its crispy birds to Navy Yard.

Bonchon brings its addictive fried chicken to DC. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Get ready, DC: Bonchon is headed your way. The Korean fried-chicken chain with a cult-like following will open its first District location in Navy Yard, with a projected opening in spring 2015. 

When it comes to chains, Bonchon is a little like Shake Shack or In-N-Out Burger: if you build it, masses will come (and yes, it’s the only eatery with 70-plus locations to ever land among our 100 Best Restaurants). Still partners Thomas An and Paul Choi, who co-own the Centreville and Arlington branches and who’re bringing the franchise to DC, go the extra mile to make their eateries stand out. Like with Arlington, they’ve hired GrizForm to outfit the 200-seat space; the design firm is also behind the look of nearby Bluejacket and Agua 301. Included in the plans: an outdoor patio.

The menu will mostly mirror Arlington’s (here’s a sample), with a focus on spicy and soy-garlic fried chicken, plus Korean specialties like pork buns and bulgogi. Both An and Choi are native Washingtonians and Nationals fans, so you’ll find a spacious bar for pre-and-post game gatherings. A list of 16 craft beers, both domestic and Asian, are in the works, plus a specialty cocktail menu. Takeout, delivery, and catering services are also planned, as well as reservations for large parties. 

Stay tuned for more details as they develop. 

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.