Bye Bye Bonchon

Bonchon Chicken Dallas gives Greenville Avenue the bird

Bonchon Chicken Dallas gives Greenville Avenue the bird

Bonchon Chicken restaurant in Dallas
No more fried chicken for you. Photo courtesy of Bonchon Chicken

Time to go get you some chicken. The Dallas branch of international chicken chain Bonchon Chicken is closing, possibly as soon as July 26 but definitely "within two weeks," confirmed the company's franchise division in New York.

According to a manager at the restaurant, the location will be reconcepted into a more traditional restaurant called Ashwood, which he described as a "bar and burger joint," with wings and salads.

Founded in Korea, Bonchon is noted for its unique chicken, available in wings and tenders, with a sweet caramelized crust. It also serves a respectable assortment of craft beers, which is unique at a chicken joint.

It opened its first U.S. branch in New York City in 2007. There are currently 30 locations in the United States and 70 more overseas in Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.

Its opening in Dallas in December 2013 was heralded by foodies as a welcome dose of cosmopolitan elan. When it first opened, it was so deluged by customers that it had to close for a week to regroup.

Its chicken was good enough to come out on top in our roundup of chicken tenders. The author described the chicken as a delectable combination of "spicy, chewy and sweet" that made it seem like jerky or candy, and loved the spicy kimchi slaw.

Mike Kim, in charge of franchising for Bonchon, said that the company would not rule out finding another franchise partner to re-open a store in Dallas. "We're just focused on closing this one first," he said. 

Early indications of the imminent demise emerged on the restaurant's social media outlets. It stopped updating its Facebook page on July 12, and the Twitter page went quiet on July 4.

A call to the restaurant management was not returned.

UPDATE: Bonchon sent out a release announcing the closure, which will take place on August 15.

 

"We decided along with the owners of the restaurant that it would be best to close at this point," said franchise manager Mike Kim. "We feel the Bonchon concept might have been premature for the Dallas market, and are currently developing new offerings that might appeal better to the American public in general. We are grateful for the hard work and support of the franchisee, staff and the local community."

Although there are no immediate plans to open another Dallas location, the franchise is open to exploring options in the future.

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