The president of what could become the newest location of BonChon Chicken in Ellicott City said he was “very surprised” at a Howard County board's decision this week to deny him a liquor license.
Yongmin or “John” Kim, 27, of Clarksville, said construction is under way of a 2,000 square-foot BonChon Chicken at 3419 Plum Tree Drive. He said he hopes it will be ready to open in the first or second week of June.
The Howard County Board of License Commissioners on Tuesday denied Kim and his family’s application for a Class B liquor license at the restaurant, said Denise King, administrator of the Howard County Board of License Commissioners.
King said the license was denied because “two of the applicants for BonChon Chicken were not considered fit and proper.”
“They had a lengthy traffic violation record,” she said. “The board viewed it as being not responsible enough to hold a liquor license.”
The traffic records she was referring to were for Yongmin Kim and another family member.
BonChon Chicken would be jointly owned by several members of the Kim family, Kim said.
Kim said the family would appeal the decision.
“I was very surprised,” he said of the decision. "It’s my fault. …. I had a pretty interesting driving record. … But I was young. We’ll have a statement [for the liquor board] that I’m going to follow the traffic rules more seriously.”
According to records submitted to the liquor board, Kim and another family member have had multiple citations, including speeding tickets, failure to properly attach a license plate, use of radar or laser detector, following too closely, among others.
His most recent citation was on Feb. 4, 2012, a speeding ticket, according to records.
Kim, who also owns , said he was excited to open the BonChon in Ellicott City, where about 8 percent of the population identifies as Korean according to the 2010 Census.
“I know this area pretty well,” he said. “I know the community here is—they’re the clientele I’m looking for.”