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We are opening up Kobunga Korean Grill #1! Bringing Korean BBQ, and homemade Korean sides to hungry USC students.
We are opening up Kobunga Korean Grill #1! Bringing Korean BBQ, and homemade Korean sides to hungry USC students.
55 backers pledged $5,110 to help bring this project to life.

About

Kobunga Korean Grill at USC Village! project video thumbnail
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$5,110

55

It's been 3 long years since this project has been in the works! John left finance and the world of hedge funds with the humble dream of starting an accessible Korean BBQ restaurant.

John and Stephen met 1.5 years ago in 2016, while Stephen was a partner at an underground supper club called Little Meats LA and perfecting his craft as a chef. It was love at first sight, and we immediately started working together full-time on Kobunga. 

It has been a tough but rewarding journey so far. We have secured some funding, developed our menu, and served thousands of guests through popups and catering opportunities, even without a brick and mortar store! 

But NOW we have this incredible opportunity to open Kobunga Korean Grill in the brand new USC Village! We are so excited to start serving not only the tens of thousands of students and faculty there, but also the local Los Angeles community.

We're so thankful to all those who have been there to support us so far. We would love your support as well in kickstarting Kobunga at USC Village! 

Food

We have been perfecting and iterating our recipes since day 1. Our food incorporates the recipes that our mothers learned from their mothers and so forth. Once Stephen joined the team, he added his own Chef's flair to the food, giving it a special kick!

Our food keeps getting better and better, but don't just take our word for it - stop by once we open, and see for yourself!

Logo

Concept Design

We wanted to showcase a homey and comfortable feel with our restaurant interior, and with only 750 square feet, this was a challenge. Using elements of straw, wood and brick, we were able to achieve this - we decided to implement a "Three Little Pigs" theme into our design. 

We also couldn't have asked for a more perfect home, since the entire USC Village is made up of bricks!

Concept Design
Concept Design

Our Documentary  

Part of our story has always been the entrepreneurial journey. From concept creation and food testing to fundraising and finally opening our brick and mortar store, we've been so grateful to have had ISAtv film a documentary showcasing our journey, with Jason Poon as our director. We will release it once we've finished filming the Grand Opening and finished post-production and editing!

Eater LA did a feature on us here. Thank you to Farley Elliot at Eater LA for this article! Also, check out a short clip of us with Hudson Yang from the hit ABC TV Series, Fresh Off The Boat!

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Swag

We've got great prizes such as t-shirts, key-chains, bottled sauces, and more!

Kobunga Hat
Kobunga Hat

 

Key-chain Bottle Opener
Key-chain Bottle Opener

Special Thanks

We want to sincerely thank those who have been supporting us! 

In no particular order, special thank you's to: our architects Linda Chen and Dennis Lee (CO-AR Design), our general contractors Scott Trestik and Victor Rosales (Pacific Construction Group Inc), our documentary director Jason Poon (Jason Poon Films), our producer Dan Matthews (ISAtv), our editor Andrew Yi (Gunho Films), event coordinator Erin Kruse (Home Grown Event Co), our older brother figures Phil Lee (Honeybird) and James Choi (Cafe Dulce), and Annie Hessen and Chris Daniell (Athena Management)

Sincere thanks to our mentors Carl Chang (Founder, Pieology) and Ellen Chen and Mario Del Pero (Co-Founders, Mendocino Farms) for showing us the ropes and truly looking out for our best interests, always.

To our investors: you are funding our dreams, and we will never forget that. Thank you, and we can't wait to hit this out of the park and provide you with positive returns beyond your wildest dreams.

Big thank you to our Board of Advisors for always having our backs: Stephanie Cheng (Hampton Creek) and Stanley Cheng (Meyer and Hestan), Frederick Gartside (Elkins Kalt Weintraub Reuben Gartside LLP), Bong Koh (KohFounders), Chris Kelleher (Auspex Capital), and Kenny Lim (Ingram Micro) 

Immense thank you to USC, Brian Wilson, and Laurie Stone for believing in our vision. Shout out to USC President C. L. Max Nikias and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for the immense accomplishment that is USC Village and the profound positive effect it will have on Los Angeles.

John and Stephen meet USC President Nikias and Mayor Garcetti
John and Stephen meet USC President Nikias and Mayor Garcetti

Last but not least, to our friends and family, we could not be here today without you. Thank you!

Our Kobunga Characters
Our Kobunga Characters

Risks and challenges

Even though we have been able to get this far along with construction, it has been a tough road with very unique challenges. Costs have risen higher than expected, and we are facing a deadline to open in order to serve students before their semester ends. Electrical, Building & Safety, Health inspections are also out of our control. We would love any support from you for this project, and we are truly grateful you are a part of our community. Despite these challenges, we know we have become smarter and stronger for Kobunga's second location and beyond. We are ready to be the next Shake Shack.

Thank you for supporting us through this Kickstarter!

Follow us on Instagram to learn more!

@kobunga
@jsksksj
@steviesbbq

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Foodie

    Pre-purchase a Kobunga meal + drink!
    (You must come to our location to redeem)

    Includes:
    • Kobunga plate + Drink
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    Limited 7 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Sommelier

    A custom bottle opener with the Kobunga Logo!

    Includes:
    • Bottle Opener
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 4 backers
    $
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Saucier

    Original Run of our Kobunga Sweet n Spicy Sauce! This bottle will be from our very first run of bottling our sauce!

    Includes:
    • Sweet n Spicy Kobunga Sauce
    • Bottle Opener
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 18 backers
    $
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Designer

    A red KOBUNGA LOGO T-Shirt!

    Includes:
    • Kobunga T-Shirt
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 8 backers
    $
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Athlete

    You get a special Kobunga hat!

    Includes:
    • Kobunga Hat
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Producer

    You'll be invited to the premiere of our documentary once completed! Comes with a copy of the documentary and +1 to the premiere screening!

    Includes:
    • 2 Tickets to Premiere
    • Kobunga T-Shirt
    • Kobunga plate + Drink
    Less
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 11 backers
    $
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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Investor

    An Invitation to our private Soft Opening on Saturday February 3rd. You will be one of the very first customers through our doors!
    If you redeem this prize after the soft open date, we will give you a private tour of our kitchen and then grab coffee with you afterward!

    You will also be invited to our Grand Opening as well

    Includes:
    • 2 Invites to Soft Opening
    • 2 Tickets to Premiere
    • Kobunga T-Shirt
    • Sweet n Spicy Kobunga Sauce
    • Bottle Opener
    • Kobunga plate + Drink
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 0 backers
    $
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Brick Builder

    A one of a kind piece of brick used to build our restaurant! You will receive a piece of brick facade personalized with your name on it.

    Includes:
    • Customized Plaque with Original Kobunga Brick
    • 2 Tickets to Premiere
    • Kobunga T-Shirt
    • Bottle Opener
    • Sweet n Spicy Kobunga Sauce
    • Kobunga plate + Drink
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 3 backers
    $
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Angel

    A catered meal up to 30 people! Whether it's a family style catered meal, or 30 individual meals, we will cater directly to you!

    Includes every prize before this one.

    Includes:
    • Catered Meal for 30 People
    • Customized Plaque with Original Kobunga Brick
    • 2 Invites to Soft Opening
    • 2 Tickets to Premiere
    • Kobunga T-Shirt
    • Sweet n Spicy Kobunga Sauce
    • Bottle Opener
    • Kobunga plate + Drink
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
    $
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Michelangelo

    A special cast of the pig sculpture that inspired our logo. Will be a gold color!

    Includes everything else (except catered meal)!

    Includes:
    • Golden Pig
    • 2 Invites to Soft Opening
    • 2 Tickets to Premiere
    • Customized Plaque with Original Kobunga Brick
    • Kobunga T-Shirt
    • Sweet n Spicy Kobunga Sauce
    • Bottle Opener
    • Kobunga plate + Drink
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
    $
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Funding period

- (19 days)