After months of anticipation, Bonchon, the internationally popular Korean fried-chicken chain, has soft-opened its outlet at 8246 Laguna Boulevard in Elk Grove.
Bonchon, founded in South Korea in 2002, has 200 locations internationally, including several in the Bay Area, where “it’s really famous,” said Alex Ly, 21, an Elk Grove college student who waited outside with about 25 other people for the new location to open its doors at 5 p.m. Thursday. (It first opened to the public on Wednesday).
The Laguna Boulevard spot marks the chain’s first entry into the Sacramento region. The restaurant had been scheduled to open in May, but encountered the delays in completing construction and obtaining permits, corporate operations supervisor Eason Li said.
Li was in town from New York to train staff and supervise the soft-opening of the casual but full-service restaurant that serves twice-fried chicken wings and drummettes. Bonchon’s chicken is known for its thin, crispy skin, and for the signature sauces – soy-garlic and spicy – that kitchen staff “paints on,” Li said.
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Bonchon is open from 5-9 p.m. daily during its soft opening, and is dine-in only. It likely will expand its hours and offer a to-go option in the next few weeks, Li said.
Customer Ly, who ordered the soy garlic chicken Thursday, already had tried Bonchon in the Bay Area. He approved of the Laguna Boulevard store’s drummette preparation, and particularly liked the crispy skin.
Ly had tried to come on Wednesday “but the wait was way too long to get in,” he said. “So I came early today to get in line before they opened.”
Bonchon patrons typically pair fried chicken with beer. Draft selections at the Elk Grove store include Stella Artois and Track 7 Panic IPA, out of Sacramento.
Orders of chicken come with buckets in which to discard bones, and with palate-cleansing cubes of pickled daikon. Bonchon also serves Korean favorites such as bulgogi and japchae, as well as fusion offerings such as bulgogi sliders and French fries with Parmesan cheese and herbs.