Inman Park’s Char Korean Bar & Grill is on track to open in January

Meats cooked tableside and Korean-themed cocktails from Hannah Leonard
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Hibiscus, ginger and baijiu
Hibiscus, ginger and baijiu

Courtesy of Hannah Leonard

Richard Tang of Craft Izakaya says he’s on track to open his Korean barbecue and yakiniku (traditional Japanese) restaurant in mid-January. Located in Inman Park at 299 North Highland Avenue, Char will serve a meat-heavy menu, designed by Jey Oh, also from Craft, and a wide range of cocktails by Hannah Leonard, currently of the Blind Pig Parlour and H&F Bottle Shop.

Typical to most Korean barbecue restaurants, the a la carte menu will have $14 to $18 small plates, including pre-sliced cuts of raw beef tongue, chicken, Waygu short ribs, Berkshire Farms pork, and USDA Prime beef. Guests will cook them over an infrared grill on their table (instructions will be provided, says Tang).

Composed dishes may include spicy sea snails with sun noodles, while side offerings range from kimchi deviled eggs to cheese corn and sautéed green beans in balsamic with roasted almonds. Char will also serve brunch on the weekends, featuring hearty soups, savory Korean pancakes, and a crepe-style omelet with fried rice in the middle, topped with ketchup-based hot sauce.

At the bar, Leonard is designing a menu of about 12 signature and classic cocktails with a focus on presentation, sometimes using blast freezers, pressure cookers, and dehydrators. “We want to really honor the traditions with popular Korean fare and drinks using fresh Korean fruits and Korean spices from the farmer’s market,” says Leonard, citing a popular Korean punch made with ginger, persimmons, and cinnamon. She’s also making a roasted rice soda and baijiu drink, and a peanut orgeat in scotch whiskey. Frozen Moscow mules will be available on tap, as well as a cocktail served in a hollow ice cube that diners must crack open to drink. Want something simpler? Local bottled beer and wine by the glass will be available, too.

As for décor, Char will be casual with a 20-seat, indoor/outdoor bar and a substantial patio, Tang says. It will have an modern-industrial look with earth tones, metal, and wood. Tang says to expect a lot of sing-along music from the ‘80s and ‘90s.

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