Mono Mono’s newest Korean fried chicken spot in Lafayette comes with a brewery
Most entrepreneurs who have opened breweries in Colorado put a lot of time and energy up front in finding the right place and the right way to break into the business.
For others, however, the brewery business imposed itself on them. That’s what happened to longtime Colorado chef and restaurateur JW Lee when he purchased a building at 599 Crossing Drive in Lafayette for his third location of the Korean fried chicken growing concept Mono Mono.
“When I bought the property, I had no idea it had a brewery inside,” he laughs.
This system was once owned by Uturn BBQ, who took a somewhat new approach to beer, selling it in a six-pack or single can through a drive-thru window, where employees also offered several styles of barbecue. . Although Uturn closed in early 2019, after less than two years in business, its owners had renovated and modernized the building, a former Burger King, for their beer-making equipment.
It is now owned by Lee, owner of Seoul Hospitality Group, a Denver-based company that has opened more than twenty restaurants, including Menya, which serves Japanese-style cuisine at its three locations; Wasabi Sushi Bar in Lakewood; Korean barbecue and Seoul hot pot in Aurora; and Seoul ManDoo, a giant Aurora dumpling spot that’s gaining a lot of attention from local food writers.
Mono Mono was actually started in New York City by another chef, but Lee brought it to Denver with locations on Blake Street in LoDo and on Colfax Avenue in the Congress Park neighborhood. In addition to Korean fried chicken and crispy wings, restaurants serve dishes like kimchi fries and bulgogi nachos.
“I’m a restaurateur,” says Lee. “I’ve never been in a brewery business before.”
But it might now, especially since Mono Mono itself was designed around the idea of serving the kinds of snacks and dishes that go along with the Korean culture of drinking.
Mono Mono plans to open in mid-January in Lafayette with its menu of dishes and drinks. After that, Lee says he would like to find someone in the brewing community to help him make his own beer.