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Bayside restaurant offers unique experience

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Running a chain restaurant may not be as simple as following the recipes found in other branches, according Jenny Park, co-owner of the Bon Chon Chicken at 45-37B Bell Blvd.

In order to give patrons an eating experience that keeps them coming back for more, you have to make the food stand out from the offerings at other restaurants in the area, the owner said.

Since taking over the branch four months ago, Park said she and her husband, chef and co-owner, James Lee, have been given their customers that unique experience by staying true to the restaurant’s Asian roots.

“It helps in many ways, with the fried chicken. Most people think that it’s the same ingredients, it’s the same thing.´╗┐ But with the time difference, if you overcook or undercook, you get to taste the difference,” she said.

In ´╗┐Korea, fried chicken has been considered more of a casual meal among groups, according to Park.

“The reason why it’s so popular in Korea is because it’s like having pizza and wings during football season,” she said.

Bon Chon has had many outlets open across the nation and at one time had restaurants in Flushing, Little Neck and Staten Island as well. During the recession, however, those stores folded, so when Park was given ownership of the Bayside restaurants, she said she was determined to make it fly.

She said she went back to the basics to help improve the Bayside Bon Chon.

A chef was brought in from Korea to help train all the cooks in the store on how to properly cook the chicken, according to Park. The owner went the extra mile — actually, several thousand — to bring the Far Eastern taste to Queens by importing the soy garlic and hot sauces used on the menu from Korea.

The toppings have been well-received by customers so far.

“I get compliments from people saying that this is different and better than the Flushing one,” Park said.

The co-owner said she is aiming to get more customers from the area and will be making a big push with advertisements and possibly free tasting events.

“There are a lot of Korean restaurants here, but I think it would be better to have more Americans in our store,” she said.

For more information on Bon Chon Chicken, log on to bonchon.com.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

Updated 5:57 pm, October 10, 2011
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