Sum Dem Korean Barbeque opens at 48th & Chicago

Josh Crew (l) and Mike Brant, co-founders of Sum Dem Korean Barbeque at 48th & Chicago. Photo by Michelle Bruch

Sum Dem Korean Barbeque is now open, and co-founder Mike Brant says customers are enjoying the Korean Short Ribs — he calls them the Korean version of bacon.

Long before deciding to open a restaurant, co-founder Josh Crew urged Brant to market his smoked ribs.

“You’ve got to sell this stuff,” he said. “They just fall off the bone and have a good savory flavor.”

The menu also features chap chae, which is a hot noodle salad with fresh veggies and Napa cabbage; and the bulgoki burger with marinated ground beef and a fried egg, kimchi, cilantro and spicy gochi chung mayo. The house-made dipping sauce has a warmer flavor, Brant said, creating a little zing in the back of the mouth.

“The kimchi pancakes are selling a lot more than I thought,” Brant said. “I’m making up batches of that.”

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Brant and Crew grew up next door to each other in Lynnhurst, where they attended Washburn High School. They often visited William’s Pub for “sum dem” wings, and the play on words became the inspiration for the restaurant name.

The restaurant offers takeout and delivery through Bite Squad, with a couple of tables available for dining in.