The team behind one of Baltimore’s newest pop-up restaurants will bring its Korean eats to Charles Village every week in October.
Haenyo, a pop-up restaurant serving Korean cuisine that launched this spring, will transform PekoPeko Ramen into a stew house each Monday in October.
The restaurant at 7 E. 33rd St. is closed on Mondays, when Haenyo will take over from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. The pop-up will offer Korean stews including seaweed stew, spicy soft tofu stew (soondubu) and seafood stew. Prices will run $10-$15 for the stews, which will be accompanied on the menu by other Korean dishes ($8-$18).
Founded by Collin Morstein and Irvin Seo, Haenyo held its first event in May at Holy Crepe Cafe in Canton and has since made appearances at Cafe Andamiro in Midtown and R. House in Remington.
Morstein said he sees residencies at restaurants during their off days or hours as a sustainable model for the pop-up going forward. He said it’s a good way for the host restaurant to generate passive income that also provides a stable schedule for the pop-up.
”We’re there, we’re paying to access all of the equipment and the dining room, and this is on a day when the restaurant is closed,” Morstein said. “The mutual benefit is strongest when the frequency is increased.”
Although Haenyo only operates once or twice a week, Morstein said the key to the pop-up’s success and financial stability is drawing a large crowd.
“Without that this model is not sustainable,” Morstein said. “But if you can do enough sales, there aren’t the fixed costs associated with doing business that a traditional restaurant has, which allows for margins to be higher.”
The budget is more flexible because the business doesn’t have the obligation of monthly rent, and the staff is small, he said.
“One thing that’s important to mention outside of dollars and cents is the flexibility and freedom that the pop-up approach affords. The restaurant industry is impossible and it drags on,” Morstein said. “Being able to hold one service a week and not being tied to a single permanent location really helps sustain the passion of wanting to feed people.”
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