TaKorean, the Korean taco grill concept that originally began as a D.C. food truck over a decade ago, will be opening a company restaurant in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in the Kentlands shopping center in late-spring 2023. This will be TaKorean’s first location in Montgomery County.

“We’ve been looking for the right space and the right time in Montgomery County for several years, so it’s exciting to finally find a great space in a great shopping center with a proven track record of fast-casual dining options,” says Mike Lenard, CEO of TaKorean. “Gaithersburg is a diverse area where we can continue to build community and serve delicious and every day, well-balanced food.”

TaKorean’s menu is based in Korean flavors with a Latin American twist, served up in rice bowls or tacos. The menu has continued to evolve with additional items like Pan Roasted Salmon with Teriyaki glaze, additional toppings and add ons – such as the new signature PiKo de Gallo and the longtime Lime Crema and Gochu-Pow sauces.

The restaurant will be completely remodeled with TaKorean’s signature look and feel. Take-out, contactless pick up, delivery and catering will all be offered as the company has continued to improve its robust operational systems to support new consumer trends.

TaKorean was founded in 2010 after a bit of lighthearted eBay bidding resulted in founder Mike Lenard buying a food truck. For years, Mike had wanted to develop a mobile vending business, but he had yet to fully develop the concept. This half-accidental food truck acquisition was just the push he needed.

“I started bidding on this food truck, not thinking I would win it. I had this thing in the back of my head like, ‘Oh, maybe I’ll do a food truck or something,’ and I remember sitting there, and all of a sudden I had won it,” Lenard says. “I did a lot of research on what I thought was lacking in the D.C. and East Coast food scenes. In LA, they were doing Korean tacos, and I thought that was really interesting, so I started researching and recipe testing.”

Lenard’s inspiration for TaKorean was a viral LA food truck called Kogi BBQ, opened by Chef Roy Choi in the mid-2000s. TaKorean takes this street food inspiration and lightens it up, creating a sort of everyday model that’s light and clean.

“All of the TaKorean’s menu items are made from high quality, fresh ingredients,” Lenard said. “That’s what really sets us apart. It’s not easy to find colorful, fresh and wholesome dining options that still feel exciting and bold like TaKorean does.”

After years of successful operations at both D.C. locations, the TaKorean team sees a timely opportunity to expand through franchising on the East Coast and beyond.

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