San Diego Korean barbecue coming to Tucson

Arizona News

A popular San Diego Korean barbecue restaurant and its sister boba shop are coming to Tucson, taking up residence in the building that for 30 years was home to Fuddruckers gourmet hamburger restaurant.

Sisters Annie Hogue and Grace Lee closed escrow this week on the 7,477-square-foot $1.3 million Fuddruckers building at 6118 E. Speedway. They hope to have a major buildout of the space, which will include dividing it to accommodate two businesses, which will be completed late next summer or early next fall.

“We want to take our time and do it right,” said Hogue, who briefly lived in Tucson eight years ago and still has friends here.

The sisters have owned and operated Taegukgi Korean BBQ House in a bustling Asian business enclave of San Diego for six years. They opened their Korean Rose boba shop last February also on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard.

Taegukgi has won a number of “best of” nods from San Diego magazines and has garnered mostly praise from Yelp reviewers.

Korean barbecue — which features a variety of marinated and plain meats and vegetables that diners cook themselves on tableside grills — has taken off in recent years; there are two Korean barbecue restaurants in Tucson and three other Korean restaurants that offer barbecue.

Hogue said when she and her sister started talking about expanding the brand, the first place Hogue thought of was Tucson.

“I loved how warm and welcoming everybody was. I was brand new and I made a lot of friends and I always knew I wanted to come back,” she said, adding that her family bought a Tucson home and plans to split their time between the two cities and restaurants.

“People love the idea of being able to sit down and pick what they want and grill it,” Hogue said. “It gives you ownership of what you put on your plate. And it’s a very interesting and fun concept.”

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