If you like sticky fried chicken, potstickers, and whiplash-inducing 180s, you'll love this: The building that once housed Vescio's -- Dinkytown's family-owned, 50-year-old "red sauce staple" -- is about to become a Korean fried chicken chain called Bonchon.
The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal recently reported that the New York-based brand will actually open two Minneapolis locations this summer -- one in Dinkytown, and another in Uptown, in the space that was most recently Davanni's. They'll be the first Bonchons in Minnesota.
A quick peek through the menu at a few other U.S. locations shows the place boasts a pretty expansive Korean fusion menu besides the bird they're best known for. There's tteokbokki (rice and fish cakes simmered with scallions and hot sauce, then topped with mozzarella and kimari), takoyaki (fried octopus dumplings drizzled with Japanese mayo and bonito flakes), and udon noodle soup. There's chicken katsu and popcorn shrimp and fried rice, plus a few salads and sides.
There are also wraps, Korean tacos, and... ribeye sliders with red onions and coleslaw?
I dunno, man.
The Biz J identifies Bonchon as a quick-serve chain, but it isn't all that "quick" by fast food standards; according to its website, the chicken here is uniquely crispy because it's double-fried and made-to-order, meaning you need to allow up to 30 minutes for cooking time. According to Eater Chicago, people waited up to an hour when Bonchon debuted there last summer.
Uptown's chicken chain (1414 W. Lake St.) is set to open first, likely sometime in July, with Dinkytown's (406 14th Ave. SE) following sometime not too long after.
And if you're walking through Dinkytown with a hankering for chain restaurant fried chicken before summer rolls around, Raising Cane's just opened down the block.