Long before the wave of Korean culture and obsession, Keo Ku, a Korean restaurant, opened their doors in Morris County in 1994.
The small town in Parsippany, New Jersey is actually home to a very small population of Asians, and few Koreans. However, its the friendly atmosphere, kind service, and delicious taste of Korea that has drawn customers from all around the world to Keo Ku's dining. 80% of the customers have been non-Korean, and its this kind of diversity that the business loves about their work.
"We were the first Korean restaurant in this town," Brian, the current manager stated. "We wanted to create diversity. Diversity allows people to learn more. It is harder to show diversity in the suburbs."
Brian added that traditional restaurants often serve the food and walk away, without sharing about how to eat the food and what is unique about it. However, Keo Ku waiters aim to teach customers about the dishes and how they can eat it.
"We seek to teach about our culture through dining. It educates the non-Koreans and encourages them to come back."
The name "Keo Ku" means "Great turtle." A "great turtle" is understood to be a loyal and subservient animal, offering the best service. Keo Ku aims to live up to its name but bringing a warm environment and also the purest taste of Korea.
"Food is one of the oldest ways to tell a culture," Brian shared. "A lot of other foods can get diluted but we try to stay very pure and bring Korea to you."
Parsippany is a place of great affluence and the owners recognized the challenge it would be to make a restaurant that targets the economic demographic. However, the business has received strong support from the town and has provided the best quality food and service during its years in the community. The restaurant is aptly located just 30 minutes from New York City-away from the noise of the city and close by surrounding lakes and golf courses.
Keo Ku is continually marketing and rebranding themselves to keep up with the changing and local demands. The business is also opened to banquet style dining and catering for business gatherings in the area.
"Keo Ku want this to imply an atmosphere where family and friends can gather and share in Korean ethnic cuisine," Brian stated. "A place that is fun and can be loud with talk and laughter, with informative, fine - dining customer service."
Keo Ku continues to ride the Korean wave with continual advancements and excellent service to locals and more.