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Frankfort Avenue: Louisville's New Hub for Korean Food and Culture

2024

In recent years, Frankfort Avenue in Louisville has seen a surge in Korean-owned businesses, sparking discussions about the possibility of it becoming a Koreatown. This area, particularly in the Clifton and Crescent Hill neighborhoods, has seen a blossoming of Korean food and culture, thanks in part to new residents and the success of establishments like Chef Edward Lee's Korean Steakhouse Nami.

Miki's Karaoke Bar & Korean Restaurant, opened by Miki Miller in 2023, offers karaoke and Korean cuisine. Miller, who moved to Louisville over 30 years ago, saw an opportunity to create a space for both fun and affordable dining, filling a gap in the neighborhood's offerings.

Similarly, Soo Young Cho, who lived in Seoul for nearly 30 years, opened KIWA in December 2023. Cho, with a background in architecture and a brief foray into real estate, found her passion in culinary arts. KIWA aims to showcase the nuanced diversity of Korean cuisine and culture, offering not just food but also art and craft workshops.

CM Chicken, a franchise established in South Korea, is another addition to Frankfort Avenue. Founded by husband and wife Viet Tran and Soyoung Chon, along with Tran's childhood friend San Luu and brother-in-law Quyen Pham, CM Chicken brings authentic Korean street food to Louisville, including Korean fried chicken, tteokbokki, and patbingsu.

Beyond Frankfort Avenue, Korean food has made a mark in Louisville, with establishments like Nami in Nulu and Top 1 Korean BBQ and Hotpot in the Highlands gaining popularity. Residents, including Marlie, a student at the Korean School of Louisville, have welcomed these new additions, appreciating the diverse culinary experiences they offer.

The growth of Korean businesses along Frankfort Avenue has not only enriched the neighborhood's culinary scene but also fostered a sense of community and cultural exchange. Whether it's through food, karaoke, or art, the Korean corridor is bringing a taste of Korea to Louisville, creating a vibrant and inclusive environment for all to enjoy.

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