City Foundry announced in April 2019 that the Benton Park restaurant Kalbi Taco Shack would open a spinoff in the mixed-use development's food hall.
With the food hall’s debut now finally imminent, the Asian-Mexican fusion restaurant has announced that it will permanently close its original location at 2301 Cherokee Street after service on June 27.
Owner Sue Wong-Shackelford tells Off the Menu it was a “bittersweet” decision to close the brick-and-mortar Kalbi Taco Shack in favor of City Foundry. However, she describes herself as a “hands on” owner — since she and her family opened the restaurant in June 2016, she has not missed a day — and knows she can’t be in two places at once.
“I want to keep my quality up,” she says.
What’s more, she says, “once we go over to the Foundry, I know it's going to be like seven days a week and longer hours there, so I know it's going to take the majority of my time.”
Kalbi Taco Shack is preparing to open at City Foundry in August. Its new kitchen equipment is scheduled to arrive in July, which is why the family is closing the original location at the end of this month.
“Plus, you know, maybe I'll take a day off,” Wong-Shackelford says.
At City Foundry, diners can expect Kalbi Taco Shack’s established menu of tacos, burritos, rice bowls, banh mi and quesadillas with sweet-and-spicy pork, teriyaki chicken and other main-ingredient options.
Wong-Shackelford says she is working to adapt that menu for a clientele — students, office workers — who might need a faster meal.
While she can make customers’ dishes to their order at the restaurant, she says at City Foundry “I’m not going to be customizing for the customers anymore because I want to have my quality product out, but yet faster.”
Through June 27, the original Kalbi Taco Shack is open for takeout (curbside or front-door pickup), delivery and patio dining. The dining room is closed.
City Foundry is located at 3700 Forest Park Avenue in midtown.