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Backoos is back in action 

An expanded menu, soju and beer and a renovated location bring new life Birmingham’s Korean joint.

click to enlarge LENNY MULLINS

Backoos Korean To Go
1360 Birmingham Street

Breathe a twice-fried sigh of relief—after eight months, Backoos Korean Food is reopening on Birmingham Street with an expanded menu and dining area.

Formerly known for its takeout, the tiny restaurant has doubled in size with an inviting, slightly industrial feel. Wooden benches line the walls, accompanied by tables with steel panels for hot pot.

"I wanted to make this space cozy," says co-owner JoungMin Kim. "I was once a customer at this kind of place. The average person, like me, can come here with friends, spend time and relax."

Along with its traditional, made-to-order fried chicken, the menu now includes new appetizers, rice meals and a selection of hot pot and hot grill meals, such as spicy ribs and bulgogi.

Backoos' famous fried chicken flavors—crispy original, soy garlic and sweet and spicy—now have a new contender: Mustard and onion. Popular in Korea, the dish consists of crispy chicken topped with sliced onion and a spicy Korean mustard that has a wasabi-esque piquancy.

click to enlarge LENNY MULLINS
  • Lenny Mullins
Additionally, the restaurant now offers a drinks menu starring beer and soju, a Korean spirit, with an option to marry the two in a strong, flavorful cocktail. Good Robot Brewing and Saltbox Brewing hosted several of Backoos' many pop-ups last year, and customers can now find their craft brews on tap.

Kim says people can expect to find Backoos at just as many bustling pop-ups this year between May and September.

This reopening is a new direction for Backoos. The original space and the Bedford location were roughly personalized by Kim and his co-owner, Sang Ho Back, within the budget constraints of a budding business. Now, the restaurants have branched off into two differing, yet complementary business models: Dine-in and takeout.

Calling in an order, picking it up and holing away to munch on that crispy, crunchy chicken may be indulgently comforting, but Kim is excited to see customers sticking around to enjoy his food. Customers are encouraged to linger.

"I just can't wait to see people having a good time here," says Kim. 

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Vol 27, No 24
November 7, 2019

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