Danny Cheng is working to bring a Korean BBQ concept to Boise. But it’s taken far longer and more money than he ever expected.
Cheng is remodeling the old Mickey Ray’s BBQ on Milwaukee into Magnificent Garden. He hoped to be open last spring – then in the fall. Now with 2019 in full swing, he’s still looking to get the doors open.
He said the permitting process with the city has been more complicated than imagined. The restaurant will feature meals prepared right at the table.
“There’s an area of concern that we have with the city, and we are working that part out,” Cheng said. “Most of the concern is with the grill system we are using – it’s more pleasing and better for guests.”
The restaurant uses a ventilation system that pulls the smoke produced by food hitting the grill down instead of letting it waft up into a traditional hood system.
“When you have smoke it usually rises up when you are grilling stuff. It gets on your face and clothes,” he said. “If you can suck it down immediately it makes for a more pleasing environment.”
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One to two months out
Cheng says the interior is nearly done, and crews are laying down final finishes. If he can get over the permitting hurdles, he hopes to be open in the next one to two months.
He said the original budget for the project was about $1.5 million – but with the delays and changes, that’s risen to $2 million.
“I want to make it a nice-looking restaurant. We wanted to get it open earlier, but I wasn’t (willing to take shortcuts). We wanted to make it great for customers.”
A unique experience at Magnificent Garden
Cheng says the restaurant will be unlike other offerings in Boise. In addition to the prepared-at-your table meats and meals, Magnificent Garden will have a wide selection of Korean wines and Korean beers – as well as beers from across Asia.
“We will have a reflecting pool which I thought was nice,” he said. “It’s got a modernized Korean design with some classic elements in it.”