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New Korean barbecue in Arlington Heights will be ‘like filet mignon,’ owner says


A sit-down Korean barbecue restaurant will be the latest addition to a shopping center on the south side of Arlington Heights that’s under new ownership.

Marbling — named for the white specs of intramuscular fat in the steak that will be served there — will open in the 2,700-square-foot storefront space at 63 W. Golf Road in the Arlington Towne Square Shopping Center.

Owner Kathy Lim and her husband Jake Han, who will be the restaurant manager, appeared before the village board Monday night to get a Class A liquor license that will allow them to serve alcohol alongside the tableside barbecue.

Han has worked for Korean eateries in the suburbs for 9 years, including CM Chicken and K-COOP, but the Arlington Heights restaurant will be the first of his own.

Through a translator, Han described the beef he will serve as high quality and “like filet mignon.”

When the new owner of the Arlington Towne Square Shopping Center proposed the restaurant last summer, officials in the village’s community development department initially expressed concerns about the viability of two full-scale Korean restaurants in the same retail center, which already hosts Hanshin Pocha in an outlot.

 
Marbling restaurant will be in a 2,700-square-foot storefront space in the Arlington Towne Square Shopping Center in Arlington Heights.
Christopher Placek/cplacek@dailyherald.com

But a market study provided by Rolling Meadows-based Direct Group Holdings, the shopping center owner, declared the proposed Marbling restaurant wouldn’t be in direct competition, since it offers Korean barbecue, and Hanshin Pocha specializes in Korean soul food.

On Monday night, village officials wished the proprietors of Marbling good luck in their new venture, and a word of warning that comes with all liquor license interviews: don’t sell alcohol to minors.

Han said he has never been cited for underage sales during his previous restaurant jobs; both he and his wife are certified to sell alcohol under the Illinois BASSET program.

The restaurant is expected to open in the next two to three weeks. When it does, hours will be from 4 to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

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