By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Jan 17, 2024 at 11:02 AM

Sinabro, which will bring a menu of Korean appetizers, sides and noodle dishes, is slated to open inside the Landmark Building at 316 N. Milwaukee St. The space, which was most recently home to Fool’s Errand and Fauntleroy, has been empty since July of 2022.

Behind the concept is Han Kim, an aspiring restaurateur who grew up working in his parents’ restaurants in Rhode Island. For a few years, he stepped away from the family business to attend business school and pursue a career in technology. But two years ago, he says, he decided to join his family here in Milwaukee.

His parents, Hae Jeong Kim and Jongsoo Kim, founded Kanpai Izakaya in 2016, and his family owns Char’d, the modern Korean restaurant in the Third Ward and Maru Korean Bistro on Prospect Avenue. His father is a co-owner and investor in Sinabro.

Kim, who is currently operating Char’d alongside his sister, Minjee Kim, says the concept for Sinabro was inspired by the gaps in the food scene that he noted when moved from the East Coast to Milwaukee.

“One of the first things that I noticed is that there really aren’t any great Korean noodle options here,” Kim notes. “Milwaukee is this great city, and I feel like Downtown is growing and heading in a great direction. But there’s also so much opportunity.”

On the menu

Kim says his goal is to introduce a concept that showcases the bold, flavorful fare that he grew up eating, including a wide range of Korean noodle dishes.

As a result, Sinabro’s menu will include offerings like jjampong, a spicy Korean noodle soup with seafood; and jajangmyeon, a Korean noodle dish made with pork, vegetables and rich Korean black bean paste with origins that stem from the cooking of Chinese migrant workers who moved to Korea in the late 1800s. 

Korean ramen, including seolleongtang, a soup with a base made from long-simmered beef bones, will also be a feature, along with snacks like the addictively chewy tteokbokki, spicy Korean rice cakes.

The restaurant will also have a full bar, showcasing a curated selection of beer, wine and cocktails.

“Sinabro is targeted toward a crowd that wants comfortable, well-prepared food at a great price,” says Kim, noting that he hopes they can capture the attention of office workers looking for lunch in the area.

“The goal is to create an atmosphere that’s casual and comfortable, not uptight,” he says. “We want it to be a fun place to hang out with friends or where anyone could just drop by and have a bowl of noodles at the bar.”

As for the name, Kim says Sinabro captures the notion of something that – almost unnoticeably – gets better and better.  “Bit by bit,” he says.

If all goes well, Sinabro could open as soon as the end of February.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.