If there’s one restaurant that made a splash this year in the neighborhood, it’s C as in Charlie. The Bleecker Street spot has quickly become a Soho staple due to its friendly vibe, lively atmosphere, and killer menu. It also helps that the trio of owners are some of the nicest people in the restaurant industry. So to celebrate their one year anniversary, David JoonWoo Yun (Operations), along with brothers Eric JaeHo Choi (Chef) and Steve JaeWoo Choi hosted an all-inclusive block party replete with sake shots, fried chicken, and exclusive merch.
Below, we chat with the trio on what this anniversary means to them, but check out our Inspectors take on the cuisine here.
Interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity.
How does it feel to be at C as in Charlie's 1 year anniversary?
David: It's a bit surreal—it feels like we opened just three months ago, yet it also feels like it's been three years since we started. This past year has been incredibly interesting, challenging, and downright exciting. It's been the most memorable year of my life.
Eric: I'm genuinely grateful. I can't believe it's already been a year. It's been quite a rollercoaster ride with no safety nets, but the support and encouragement I've received throughout this time has been incredibly meaningful.
Steve: One of the most rewarding aspects of our first year was building a community of returning customers—our regulars. Witnessing people come back to C as in Charlie time and time again is genuinely heartening. It was in those moments that I truly felt the impact of what we are creating.
Outside of opening, what’s been the most exciting part of year one?
David: I'm not just saying this because this piece is for the MICHELIN Guide, but it was incredibly exciting to see our restaurant featured among the new establishments recognized by the MICHELIN Guide in 2023. At that point, we had only been open for four months, and still felt like our restaurant was an under-the-radar hidden gem. We were both thrilled and somewhat perplexed.
Eric: During a tough time in the kitchen, I got a message from David and Steve that we made it into the 2023 MICHELIN Guide. This news was incredibly humbling, and I felt deeply thankful for it.
Who’s been the most memorable diner?
David: My restaurant journey began when I was 23-years-old at Kristalbelli, an upscale Korean barbecue restaurant in New York City. This place set the foundation for many of today's well-known restaurant professionals and chefs in New York. Joon Kim, the president of the restaurant, became my mentor and played a pivotal role in teaching me the ins and outs of the business. Joon saw potential in me and offered me a significant opportunity to step into the role of General Manager, even though I was only 23. Recently, Joon unexpectedly paid a visit to our restaurant, catching us completely by surprise. Showing him what we've accomplished since those early days was one of my proudest moments. His pride meant the world to me.
Who is your dream diner?
Eric: My dream diners would definitely be my parents. Ever since I moved to New York, we've been apart due to various constraints that have prevented them from visiting the United States. C as in Charlie encompasses every cherished moment, story, and flavors from my upbringing in Atlanta. Having them here to experience everything we've created would mean the world to me.
What’s ahead for year 2 of C as in Charlie?
Steve: Our mission extends beyond upholding the high standards of food and service. We aim to continuously elevate our quality while embracing experimentation to stay at the forefront of culinary trends. We would love to collaborate with diverse industries such as fashion and art, and explore different restaurant styles. We plan to curate special events that add a unique charm to C as in Charlie, ensuring it remains consistently delightful and distinctive.
Hero image: Julius Berger for C as in Charlie
All photos: Julius Berger for C as in Charlie