Big news in Chinatown:

A Korean barbecue is setting up, further broadening the options.

It's Sammy Chon's K-Town BBQ, which packs 'em in at the Cherry Hill flagship in Sawmill Village, and it's taking over the landmark HK Golden Phoenix at 911 Race St. The liquor app went up late Friday; the marble-clad restaurant, which had been serving since 1996, closed in August.

Sammy Chon, whose down-home cuisine harkens back to his grandmother, tells me that an HK Golden Phoenix partner will remain, which should help smooth regulatory matters.

The plan is to simply clean and redecorate and not rip the place apart, says Chon, who hopes to get his dolsot on "conservatively" around Thanksgiving, though a real opening will be in December.

Chon also is working on an "express" version of the restaurant for the Shoppes at Cinnaminson, next to Game Stop on Route 130.

Korean cuisine has been spreading downtown beyond the longtime hot spots of Olney and Upper Darby, thanks to Giwa (1608 Sansom St.), Miga (211 S. 15th St.), and, this fall, Rice & Mix (1207 Walnut St.).

Also on the way for Chinatown:

  • M Kee, a duck and noodle house, at 1002 Race St.
  • Ramen Boy, a ramen shop from Yakitori Boy's Nelson Tam, at 204 N. Ninth St.
  • Soho, a Korean fried chicken/froyo shop/noodle bar from Ken Shin Diner's Kenny Poon, at 1021 Arch St.
  • And, yes, Hop Sing Laundromat, the bar at 1029 Race St.