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Owners raise a glass to Oxford's first Korean restaurant
OXFORD’S first Korean restaurant is taking over one of the city’s eateries.
Cafe Coco in Frideswide Square is being remodelled in an oriental style to become The Bamboo, a Korean restaurant opening at the end of the month.
Two businessmen bought the site from Oxford restaurateur Clinton Pugh last week.
Min Quan, who is Korean, and his Chinese business partner Tao Tao said they were not worried about the tough history of the site because their venture was different.
Mr Quan, who lives in Summertown, said: “We know what Oxford is missing.
“Korean food is good, it’s different, and there isn’t another Korean in Oxford.
“Oxford attracts a lot of people from all over the place, like its students. We are in the middle of doing the refurbishments. The new tables have just been shipped from Korea and should arrive soon.”
Mr Tao, who lives in Kidlington, is not new to the food business as he already owns The Magic Cafe in Cowley.
Building work is under way and the renovations are due to be completed towards the end of the month.
There is to be an open grill area in the restaurant where customers can see their food being cooked by Korean chefs.
The waiters will be dressed in traditional Korean outfits.
Mr Pugh, who also owns Cafe Tarifa and Kazbar in Cowley Road, Oxford, said: “Cafe Coco was a tough spot because of the lack of parking, but I wish them all the best.
“I hope it comes off for them. I wanted to sell the site just to shrink my portfolio a bit so I am a little less busy and can concentrate on my other restaurants.”
The site has seen about four changeovers in the past 10 years.
The public square on which the restaurant sits, near Oxford Station, was due to be renovated in a £3.7m project by Oxfordshire County Council starting this year.
However that has been delayed.
Councillor Rodney Rose, cabinet member for transport, said reviving the area and resolving traffic problems was important, but the plans now have to incorporate a Network Rail revamp of Oxford Station, planned for 2019.