On the heels of chobap and boba tea joint BoBop opening on Valencia Street, a new destination for Korean fare is coming to the Outer Mission. The Korner Store, the Mission’s go-to for soju and Korean snacks like chicken wings, will reopen at 4516 Mission Street, owner Ina Jungin Lee’s commissary kitchen and former Hwaro space. Expect light fare at the renamed Korner Store Bites and Vibes. Lee says she is still experimenting with the menu, but she confirms the soy crab will be on the menu. The space used to be Hwaro, one of Lee’s other Korean restaurants, which closed right before the pandemic, and her mom will help her in making the rebirthed business’ food shine. “Finally Mama An’s food can be enjoyed,” Lee says. “I knew I had to do it sooner rather than later.”
There are no upstairs neighbors, so the restaurant can stay open much later than the first Korner Store, which closed at 10 p.m. It’s a former warehouse that Lee says she hopes to use for live events and music. She hopes for DJ sets like Purple Disco Machine, projectors with wild visuals, and all kinds of good funkiness. At the Korner Store, the entrepreneur tried to be mindful of Valencia Street’s noise levels — which was hard given the fanbase’s love of house music and drinking soju en masse. “People used to dance in our space,” Lee says. “People were really just themselves, and that was the best. I love this good energy and vibe and want that to continue.”
Lee will throw a holiday party to celebrate the Korner Store’s return on Saturday, December 17. From 7 p.m. to midnight fans can come by and eat the Korner Store’s menu buffet-style with drinks from the former location like the frosé slush and the soju and fruit-laden Passionista. She says guests should expect good vibes and lots of music. It’s a christening of sorts as the business comes back in full force. “We miss all our customers,” Lee says. “There’s a lot to do, but let’s have fun.”
The Korner Store will reopen at 4516 Mission Street in February 2023. You can RSVP to the holiday party via Instagram.