Written by Myong Sool Chang / Translated by Risa Kim
Kaya Restaurant in Porter Square, Cambridge will be under construction to be the first hotel in Massachusetts owned by a Korean- American.
Kaya Restaurant owner, Min-Soo Kim said Kaya Restaurant will only be open until August 15th, and the nit will be open a year later as Kaya Hotel. The hotel will have 6 floors including a basement, and it will have about 70 rooms. The basement will contain a parking lot and a bar. A Japanese restaurant and a Korean restaurant will be located on the first floor.
The wrinkles on Min-Soo Kim's face show all the hardships he had to go through in order to turn the restaurant into a hotel. It took 2 years for the city of Cambridge to approve Kaya's building permit. When Kim finally received the building permit in 2008, he was very excited and called for the press right away to share his construction plan.
However, the construction was delayed due to the financial crisis in 2008. American banks and Korean investors had turned their backs. Also in 2011, the negotiation with an American investors did not go well, and Kim decided to run the restaurant until he found new investors.
Kaya used to be the biggest Korean chain restaurant in Massachusetts with three branches, Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline. But after the Korean-American press wrote about the closing of Kaya Restaurant, many Korean-Americans stopped going to Kaya because they thought it was closed. Even in the midst of all these troubles, Kim was constantly looking for investors and partners. After his long search, he met Young-Ho Lee, the CEO of Young Construction, and they have partnered up to build the Kaya Hotel, which will finally be under construction this September.
Min-Soo Kim thanked all neighbors, "The 4 year ownership conflict, and 2 year process of getting a building permit would have not been possible without the help of neighbors."
Kaya Restaurant owner, Min-Soo Kimis an experienced hotel-operator. He started his career as a hotel manager in Westin Chosun Hotel, Lotte Hotel, Hilton Hotel and Tokyo Hotel. He revealed that the rooms may be small but it will have great quality with a reasonable price for a comfortable stay for all customers. Min-Soo Kim described his partner as a strictly disciplined person. CEO Young-Ho Lee has a background in PSI heating and he is presently working as building developer in Young Construction. He has lots of experience in building big condos and apartments in Cambridge, Newton, and other areas.
With Harvard University, MIT, and Lesley University always running out of rooms, Kaya Hotel will have better business prospects. Lesley University, which is now located in Porter Square, should be an especially good provider of customers, and the closing of the Inn at Harvard will also be a boon to business.
Kim revealed,“When I had the court conflict, I wanted to give up many times because of the wasted time, bad rumors, emotional pains, and financial troubles that I had to go through. But, with all the support and care I got, I was able to overcome these troubles, and pursue my dream of building the Kaya Hotel.”
He said, "As a representative of the Kaya family, I would like to thank everyone who loved Kaya Restaurant.” When Kaya Hotel opens in Porter Square next year, it is likely that there will be significant changes in Korean-American business in Cambridge.
ⓒ 보스톤코리아(http://www.bostonkorea.com), 무단전재 및 재배포 금지