I took the opportunity to attend a community meeting in Ward 6 to learn about a new Korean restaurant, Bibim, looking to occupy the 243 Elm Street space in Davis Square. Also in attendance this evening, were the owners Young and Ed Kim, their attorney, architect, spokesperson, as well as, Alderman At Large Jack Connolly and Director of Economic Development Ed O'Donnell. Ward 6 Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz was said to be attending another meeting scheduled for the same time.
The restaurant is also hoping to obtain a full liquor license at next week's Licensing Commission meeting as it seems the Davis decision is dependent upon this approval. Rising rent prices are making the retrieval of alcohol licenses for eateries a necessity. They, currently, do not have a license at the Allston location.
Represented by former City Attorney John Gannon, mother and son owners Young and Ed Kim will be doing a complete renovation of the space to accommodate a seating capacity of 92. The owners do have plans to ask for additional outdoor seating in the future.
Architect, David Barsky, is planning on using rustic materials such as thick cut, bark-edged tabletops and cut stone as accents to bring a 'natural' feel to the dining room. To open the space to the outside, fold up windows are being considered for the storefront rather than the traditional open "door" style seen on other establishments. Columns will be used to buffer eating space from the front door and, overall, Barsky does not want to use many partitions making the restaurant open to staff for easier service to customers. Sculptures and paintings will also be used to decorate the restaurant as Young is also an artist, herself.
Although most attendees spoke in support of the restaurant, some seemed concerned about the owners' lack of experience with alcohol. Ed Kim reassured them with the news that he has just completed a bartending course and that he will staff the location with properly certified employees.
The next stop for the Kims and their team is before the Licensing Commission on March 17th at 6:00 PM for a hearing on whether they will be awarded the liquor license they need to open. The meeting will be held at the TAB building-167 Holland Street. A zoning approval is not needed as Bibim is replacing another restaurant in this space.