Cityscape

Korean-inspired grill with build-your-own bowls coming to Overland Park, Waldo

Bibibop, a fast-casual, Korean-inspired restaurant, is taking over the former Pizzeria Locale locations.
Bibibop, a fast-casual, Korean-inspired restaurant, is taking over the former Pizzeria Locale locations. Bibibop

Bibibop Asian Grill, a fast-casual, Korean-inspired restaurant, is coming to Kansas City.

The Columbus, Ohio-based chain is taking over three former Pizzeria Locale locations: 505 W. 75th St. in Waldo; in a multi-tenant building on the outskirts of Oak Park Mall, 11875 W. 95th St., Overland Park; and in Corbin Park, 6455 W. 135th St., Overland Park. August openings are planned.

Founder Charley Shin grew up on the outskirts of Seoul, where an egg over rice was a luxury dish to him. After emigrating to the U.S., he started washing dishes at a restaurant as a 14-year-old and then worked in his mother’s Asian restaurant. Her Korean dish bibimbap was a favorite with him and customers.

Bibibop (pronounced b-b-bop) is a play on that dish.

“The term ‘bibim’ means mixing various ingredients, while the ‘bap’ noun refers to rice. Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul and gochujang, soy sauce, or doenjang,” the company said.

Bibibop will have such ingredients as purple and white rice, japchae (sweet potatoes noodles), proteins (chicken, steak, organic tofu or spicy chicken), bean sprouts, corn, sesame kale, daikon, cucumbers, black beans and potatoes.

Sauces include teriyaki, spicy sriracha, cucumber wasabi and sesame ginger.

Along with bowls, it also has salads and wraps, and sides such as pineapple and kimchi.

Menu ingredients are prepared fresh throughout the day. It also offers free miso soup.

The company has 30 locations in four states and Washington, D.C., and is rapidly expanding.

Pizzeria Locale closed its three area locations in mid-2018. The founders had a partnership with Colorado-based Chipotle.

Bibibop also has taken over some of Chipotle’s shuttered Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen sites in other markets.

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Joyce Smith has covered restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the brand Cityscape. She appreciates news tips.


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