Food from TKO, photo by Colette Collins.

A Korean-American street food pop-up is opening its first brick and mortar location this Friday.

TKO, from Chef Lino Yi, is opening up a permanent location in East Atlanta’s Southern Feedstore food hall on Dec. 9, according to a press release. The Korean-American concept launched as a pop-up in April of 2021. The new spot will serve up lunch, dinner, and late-night weekend bites. 

“Much like my own upbringing, I’m forming a bridge between Korean and American cultures and traditions,” Yi said in the release. “Growing up, our Thanksgiving dinners had turkey and gravy as well as Korean BBQ and kimchi. There is an amalgamation of new and retro called Newtro in Korean culture. It’s modernized retro, which is something I also want to represent in my food. I want to show respect for the rich history of both Korean and American food, but I want to modernize them with new techniques and ingredients.” 

TKO began as a one-night offering in Ration & Dram, and has since popped up at different restaurants across the city. The new store will feature dishes the pop-up has become known for, such as its Volcano Hot Dog with torched krab salad, eel sauce, and Sriracha, and its Korean Fried Chicken (KFC) Nuggets with Gochujang and spicy mayo. Guests will be able to grab their food from the counter and eat in the food hall’s communal seating area or take it to go. 

TKO will be open Friday and Saturday from noon to 3 a.m. and Sunday-Thursday from noon to 10 p.m.

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.