Crazy for Kimchi

Hot Austin restaurant chain opens new location in booming neighborhood

Hot Austin restaurant chain opens new location in booming neighborhood

Chi'Lantro chilantro food fries chips
Chi'Lantro's fifth Austin outpost opens January 9. Photo courtesy of Chi'Lantro

Austin's beloved Korean barbecue joint is expanding like crazy. Chi'Lantro BBQ's newest location on East Riverside Drive will open Monday, January 9. Diners can expect Chi'Lantro's famous lineup of kimchi fries, fried chicken wings, and Korean-fusion fare.

In just six years founder Jae Kim has grown Chi'Lantro from a lone food truck to a successful chain that includes a catering department and kimchi facility. The newest restaurant, tucked inside the burgeoning South Shore District, makes for the fifth Austin outpost.

And that number is expected to grow. Kim recently appeared on ABC's Shark Tank, where he hooked a deal with Barbara Corcoran. In exchange for equity, Corcoran gave $600,000 to the growing company, which is on track to reach $6 million in sales this year. With the investment, Kim is looking outside of Austin. The first stop? A restaurant in Houston.

To give everyone taste of the new Austin location, Chi'Lantro is offering preview seating on January 6-7. Guests pay what they want for food and drinks, and Chi'Lantro will give 100 percent of the sales to four nonprofits: Children's Tumor Foundation, CareBOX Program, Austin Animal Center, and Mobile Loaves & Fishes.

"Our success has led to so many incredible opportunities, and giving back has always been one of the most important ones to us," said Kim in a release. "I can't think of a better way to celebrate our fifth location than turning a spotlight on four deserving causes that we're honored to be donating our preview sales to."

Chi'Lantro's East Riverside, location at 1414 Shore District Dr., will open daily from 10:30 am to 10 pm.