There are a lot of stories at the new mixed-use version of Capitol Hill’s Hugo House literary center — six, to be exact — but the tale behind the building’s coming new restaurant is more of a legend of logistics than a romance of food and the written word.
“Contemporary fast casual Korean” concern Oma Bap is expanding to 11th Ave and will take the restaurant suite adjacent the street level, 10,000 square-foot literary center across from Cal Anderson Park.
Owner Peter Pak tells CHS the new project is about growth and opportunity — his 12th Ave location can’t keep up with demand on the catering business end of things and having a sister restaurant with a more robust kitchen not far away will be a big plus for Oma Bap’s future.
CHS wrote about the arrival of the restaurant on 12th Ave at Cherry in 2014 as Pak said he came to the area to avoid high rents in his original location on the Eastside. The fast-food style bowl restaurant offers “Korean-inspired” cuisine including bibimbap.
The new Hugo House, meanwhile, debuted in September with the help of community donors and state funding. The nonprofit was able to purchase the street level commercial condominium space in the new mixed-use apartment building at the corner it has called home — except for a short stint on First Hill during construction — since the 1990s. The new 9,600-square-foot writing center with salon, classrooms, and an auditorium at the corner of 11th and E Olive St was designed by the architects at NBBJ with a 150-seat auditorium and a salon with built-in writing nooks, seating areas, and a small stage on the ground floor of a six-story development.
The new Oma Bap will turn to prolific Catch Design Studio for its look and feel. Pak said he hopes to be open at the corner of 11th and Olive by summer. You can keep track and learn more at omabap.com.
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