After two failed attempts to get on ABC’s popular investment show, “Shark Tank,” the sharks finally realized what those in of us in Austin have known for six years, now — those Chi’Lantro kimchi fries are friggin’ delicious. The Korean BBQ/Mexican fusion food truck/eatery founder Jae Kim managed to wrangle a $600,000 investment from real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran in exchange for 20 percent equity.
When he finally makes it in front of the investors, Kim asks shark Chris Sacca to help him make a Korean BBQ bowl and then tells the sharks the heartfelt story of growing up as a new immigrant in a single family home.
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His story earns the respect of Mark Cuban and his food earns the adoration of Sacca who says that it’s “some of the best food I’ve ever eaten.” They praise him on living the American dream and the success that he’s already had — turns out those storefronts that he’s worked so hard to open are now earning $1 to 1.5 million each per year — even without using credit card machines.
And even though Corcoran is the only one to offer up funding, it was a veritable love fest from all of the sharks, a pretty rare sight on the show. The deal is sealed with a memorable hug and spin, and Kim walks away smiling.
With the deal, Kim plans to expand Chi’Lantro outside of Austin, with Houston first on the agenda, according to Eater Austin. In the meantime, we’re eagerly awaiting the next local restaurant opening in the booming Riverside area, set for later this month.
Featured photo from Chi’Lantro’s Facebook page