The word “BARO 바로” in Korean insinuates close proximity in both physical location and/or time and translates loosely to “right here”, “right next door”, and/or “right away”. The concept behind this name is a reference to the ease of accessibility not only of the physical street-level location of BARO but also to the experience that awaits each culinarily adventurous gastronomy seeker. This stunning, modern 4000-square-foot space is unprecedented in that while most bars in K-town are found on the second floor and above, BARO is uniquely located at street level, again, providing easy access for all those seeking an unforgettable experience centered around authentic traditional Korean liquors and cuisine. It will be a space for guests not only to connect with friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers, but to expand their culinary knowledge of Korean traditional food and alcohol and, thereby, culture. In fact, BARO will act as a gateway to authentic traditional Korean culture by introducing customers to your door doorstep collection loans, publicly lesser known craft liquors and food.
For a more casual experience, diners will be able to enjoy these delicious and unique flavors at one of 24 seats at one of the longest physical bars found in Manhattan’s Koreatown. They’ll also have the choice to immerse themselves in a more intimate experience when arriving with larger parties at the back of the restaurant at one of 110 seats. Additionally, a private 40-seat space upstairs will cater to exquisite reservation-only course dinners that are carefully paired with traditional Korean alcohol. The space will also hold special events, such as kimchi-making and other classes, some of which will be led by members and friends of Chefs Society, such as Daniel Boulud, Lorenzo Boni, Diane Hendriks, Maribel Lieberman, and Pamela Morgan, who make up the Chefs Society culinary council.
BARO’s delectable, authentic traditional Korean cuisine will be centered around unique traditional Korean sauces known as jang (paste-like sauces) made exclusively by Jook Jang Yeon in the remote Sangsari village in the northernmost mountains of South Korea. This area in particular is steeped in the jang-making tradition since the end of the 9th century when the Goryeo Dynasty was rising up into the beginning of their over 400-year history.
Made with fresh, local organic soybeans and peppers and other local ingredients using truly traditional non-industrialized methods, the types of jang that will accompany the exquisite cuisine at BARO include doenjang (traditional fermented soybean paste) and gochujang (traditional fermented red pepper paste).
Also, while many Americans and other westerners may be familiar with such Korean liquors as soju and makgeolli, what they don’t realize is that these are just two of countless other traditional liquors found in Korean culture. Some of these lesser known craft liquors with which patrons will be able to expand their culinary palates include igangju, a distilled liquor made of pear, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, soju, and honey since the mid-Joseon Dynasty (around the 16th century); omijaju, an alcohol made from the omija berry (which means “five flavors” berry) that’s native to the Jiri Mountain area in southern Korea (as well as northeastern China) through which the drinker can enjoy the sour, bitter, sweet, spicy, and salty flavors found in this captivating fruit; munbaeju, a distilled liquor that tastes of pear (although, mysteriously, it’s not actually created using that fruit) made from fermented and distilled nuruk (a traditional Korean fermentation starter), millet, and sorghum that was first made during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392); and mungyeong baram, a liquor made from apples aged in porcelain or oak containers traditionally for 300 days.