USAG Yongsan-Casey [September 30, 2021] – Soldiers, civilians and contractors gathered at Rodriguez Range Sept. 30, marking the formal opening of the Korean-American fusion restaurant, “Bob for U.”
Soldiers’ initial response to the unique name is generally confusion but the only Bob on the menu comes with a side of kimchi. “Bob” is similar in pronunciation to Bap which means rice in Korean. The new restaurant was a collaboration between the Exchange and the U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan-Casey Directorate of Public Works (DPW).
The new concessionaire is a replacement for the Korean snack bar that closed Nov. 2019, leaving Soldiers and staff with limited dining options.
Ensuring the new operation would be fully successful, management selected a menu to appeal to both Korean and American Soldiers.
The Exchange Services business manager, Kang Min-su, compared it to the way traditional Chinese food is modified to meet western tastes.
He said, “Recipes were adjusted to include a slightly sweeter and saltier tastes, and are light on the spicy red pepper, yet true to the type cuisine Koreans enjoy daily.”
According to Han Ki-sol, general manager for the northern area Exchange, the renovations took nearly three months.
“The building required work [renovation] from the roof to the floor tiles,” said Han. “We received great support from DPW.”
It wasn’t easy, but improving the facility and having a new restaurant is a big morale booster for the Solders and staff, Han said. “It was a big challenge but we overcame it.”
Exchange executives were present, along with the USAG Yongsan-Casey deputy garrison commander, Dr. Irving A. Taylor, who helped to cut the ribbon signifying the grand opening.
“We’re fulfilling our Exchange mission by doing these kinds of things,” said Scott Bonner, regional vice president for the Exchange. “We go where you go to improve the quality of your life.”
Bonner engaged a first-time customer at the facility to get his feedback. Not only was the Soldier impressed with the quality of the food, but he also remarked about the cleanliness, and the comfortable environment. Other Soldiers shared similar sentiments.
“The food is great and is a good option for the area we’re training in,” said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Lizama, a Soldier training in the area. “I like Korean food. The variety and buffet options are great.”
Lizama admitted, he had made several trips to the restaurant since its Sept. 1, soft opening.
Rodriguez Range is a live fire range located approximately 26 kilometers from Camp Casey, near Pocheon, and hosts units year-round. Soldiers can stay a few hours for training or several weeks.
“Bob for U” is located adjacent to the AAFES eatery and is open daily, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. The restaurant operates extended hours during busy training periods at the request of units.
According to Kang, the business is expected to serve between 3,000 and 5,000 customers monthly.
“With the help of the USAG Yongsan-Casey Command Group and the DPW Team, we were finally able to complete construction,” Han said. “Thank you so much for all for your great support because of you, we were able to create a successful business.”