The following article appeared in the June 2021 issue of St. Louis Magazine. Under different circumstances, Kimchi Guys, the Korean fried chicken joint on Laclede’s Landing, would never have hatched. When part of the five-story south wall of The Cutlery building collapsed in 2015, owner Munsok So chose to rebuild—rather than abandon—the historic 1860s-era building. Part of the renovation included Kimchi Guys, So’s paean to the sweet, spicy, and super-crunchy chicken style that’s popular in Korea. “There are 50,000 chicken shacks in South Korea now,” he says. “I thought it was time St. Louis had at least one.” Despite a lack of foot traffic and the pandemic notwithstanding, Kimchi Guys’ sales doubled and then tripled, opening the door to a second location, slated to début in late July in a corner bay at 282 N. Skinker Avenue, near Washington University. The menu will be similar to the flagship: chicken pieces are marinated for 12 hours and then fried at two temperatures, resulting in what So describes as a “shatter-crust.” Four sauces and four kinds of kimchi are offered, including white radish, the Korean version of coleslaw. Sandwiches and bowls (especially the Bibimbap), and the Korean-Mexican dishes (such as the “Korrito”), are big sellers as well. The only menu additions planned are more varieties of kimchi and pork belly soup (since soup is part of nearly every meal in Korea, according to So). Part of the reason that Kimchi Guys’ products stand out is the use of Korean specialties in the prep: gochujang (red pepper paste), gochugaru (pepper flakes), fish sauce, sesame oil, and oligo (sweet rice) syrup. Although the restaurant seats 45, a pickup window was installed to handle what will likely be the bulk of the business. Drinks include fountain Excel sodas, craft beers, and soju, the low-alcohol, distilled spirit “that no one knows much about,” according to So. “I’d like to do something about that, too,” he says.