Korean fried chicken is having a moment in Adelaide, and now the Plus 82 team is entering the fray, opening burger shop CNB at Norwood’s Parade Central in early January.
Introducing CNB: A Korean answer to the Colonel is coming to Norwood
Multinational fried chicken conglomerate KFC has really gone downhill of late, says chef Terry Hwang.
Chicken and Burger
177-193 The Parade, Norwood 5067
CNB is opening early January 2021.
“KFC doesn’t taste as good. It’s dry and pretty boring sauces. I want to shake it up,” he says.
For the last two years, a better KFC – Korean fried chicken – has been garnering a reputation for itself in Adelaide’s eating scene, with Ban Ban, K-Pub, Gunbae and Kokko, among others, building a significant swell of hype behind the deep-fried foodstuff.
It was only a matter of time before the Plus 82 group – whose four existing venues celebrate the food and culture of South Korea – decided to join the party.
In January 2021, the group will launch Chicken and Burger (aka CNB) into the Plus 82 family, headed up by chef Terry, front-of-house manager Kelsey O’Riley, and the group’s founders Steven Lee and Hyunwoo Kang
Unlike most Korean fried chicken restaurants, CNB will have a focus on burgers and will operate predominantly as a takeaway fast-food outlet, much the same as the global franchise that has inspired it. But there will be dine-in space for around 20 people, and a selection of local beers to match.
Burgers will be around the $10 mark, and will feature a range of sauces developed by the team, such as those that can be found at the group’s Pocha restaurant.
“It’s going to be similar to KFC, but slightly more expensive, because we want to focus on quality a little bit more,” Terry says.
The project has been almost two years in the works, with the team developing recipes and trialling a fried chicken pop-up at RCC Fringe and the Cluck Yeah! Fried Chicken Festival in 2019.
Steven was interested in bringing the concept to Norwood as he feels the locale is “a lot more alive than any other suburb.”
“Because it’s always busy, there are a lot of other new restaurants here as well,” he says.
“We wanted to find a popular location. Not necessarily in the city, but in the suburb as well. We were looking at Henley Beach and all that. We found this was the best fit, with the clientele that we have here, the crowd.”
By December last year, the CNB ownership group came upon a space in Norwood befitting of the concept – the Parade Central shopping centre.
The lease was signed in February, but the project stalled in March at the advent of the pandemic.
With a large percentage of Plus 82’s workforce across its multiple venues made up of international students, many of the staff at Pocha, Pocha Lite, MiMi and GoGi were not eligible for the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program.
In order to keep the businesses running, the Plus 82 groups’ directors picked up shifts inside the businesses, leaving little time for them to spend bringing this new concept into being.
“We wanted to focus on the current businesses as well, because they all got hit very badly,” Steven tells CityMag.
Thankfully, Steven’s new landlord at the Norwood site, Mario Boscaini, allowed he and his business partners time to get their other businesses running smoothly before having to worry about their new space.
This is the first hospitality project FOH manager Kelsey has embarked on as an owner. She joined the Plus 82 team at MiMi around 18 months ago, having worked with Steven and Hyunwoo years ago in hotel management.
“It’s always been my plan to be able to branch off away from the hotel sector and go into small business, and so they’ve given me the opportunity to be part of that ownership,” Kelsey says.
“It was very comfortable, purely because I’d worked with these guys before, so that familiarity was always there. But in terms of what I was looking for [this is] a lot better personally for my lifestyle, working for a small business, working for individuals that are almost like a family.”
CNB will launch in early January 2021, and if all goes well, you’ll likely see a few more CNB stores pop up around Adelaide in the months and years following.