Joanna Chang, the founder of Mrs. Kim’s Grill, announced that indeed they can ‘meet again’ as the doors to her establishment re-open at 136 Koornang Road in Carnegie, VIC.
The global pandemic has adversely affected Australian businesses, with Melbourne currently coming through Stage 4 restrictions that have impacted local restaurants. A new government grant is currently allowing many eateries to begin opening outdoors in an effort to keep viral cases down and businesses back to operational. In an expansive collaboration with Made By Pen and MODO Architects, Mrs. Kim’s Grill is set to open their outdoor space that will feature Made By Pen’s flexible indoor-outdoor products and MODO’s innovative design. The mission is to produce a template for other restaurants to adopt and follow in Melbourne that provides a path to recovery for overcoming the effects of the COVID19 pandemic.
Joanne Chang, has been sharing her distinctive Korean dishes with the greater Melbourne area for decades. Since launching her first restaurant in 2013, she has cultivated a fervent following from patrons that appreciate her dedication to traditionally marinated meats for barbeques and providing exceptional hospitality.
“We were back here as quickly as the doors were opened. We have missed the Melbourne vibe of going out and enjoying the food. The new space created is buzzy and fun. We are excited Mrs Kim’s Grill has re-opened!” says Mark Pawsey, a Mrs Kim’s Grill patron.
Mrs. Kim’s Grill has served as a cultural thoroughfare for the Korean community in Melbourne, and the business has introduced Chang to many of her close friends, including Susan Chung (www.madebypen.com) and Michael Ong (www.mo-do.net), who have decided to band together to assist Joanne in activating her space and returning it to prominence. The outdoor space, which was once a carpark has been activated to resemble pojangmacha or covered Korean street side eateries. The design accessed materials readily available and within the grant budget to ensure the doors could open as quickly as possible.
In the words of owner Joanne Chang, “Just to be able to have a team of experts to support us during this time to help us open quicker and get back to opening is priceless. It’s not just about turning a profit and sales, it’s about getting some normality, going to work for our team and seeing our customers again. Susan and I grew up together from a young age. Together we have seen the good the bad and ugly so COVID 19 has been no exception! Somehow our lives have taken parallel paths from careers to babies and so we continue to support each other as we go along.”
As long-time collaborators, Susan Chung and Michael Ong are known for producing exceptional, premiere pieces and products that stand the test of time. Pen is a company that steadfastly believes in longevity and quality in production, and the products are perfectly suited for the outdoor dining concept that Mrs. Kim’s Grill is currently adopting. Together with the award-winning Ong, the pair are assisting their long-time friend Joanne pro bono in order to revive her restaurant while simultaneously invigorating the great city of Melbourne through the pandemic.
“The design needed to be purposeful, authentic and accessible. The transformation had to occur quickly to enable the establishment’s doors to open. Two weeks ago, this space was a carpark, and now its atmospheric extension of the iconic restaurant. We did this to support Mrs Kim’s Grill as they find their feet again.” Michael Ong.
The majority of businesses in Melbourne have had to contend with the effects of COVID19 at the workplace, with restaurants in particular taking a huge hit. Mrs. Kim’s Grill is returning with the assistance of friends that are also experts in their field and ideally suited to bringing back a sense of normalcy to the area and dining scene. After months of quarantine and isolation, Made By Pen and MODO are on a mission to revamp as well as revitalize a space that will serve as a meeting place for friends and family in the area. For the opening, the audience is expected to be an interesting mix of friends and family as well as those inclined to experience what is sure to be a singular event that transforms Mrs. Kim’s Grill and unites the Melbourne community.