By Katie Kohler
For decades, Main Street in Norristown possessed little retail, dining or entertainment options, which are considered key components to any hope of revitalization.
One of the stalwarts, August Moon, stands firm in its original location (300 East Main Street) since 1994 despite temptations to move to the retail realm of King of Prussia or the mixed-use options of Plymouth Meeting.
Manager Jee Han credits her mother, August Moon’s owner Myong Ja Ryu, known as “Mrs. Kim,” for her dedication to Norristown. Instead of moving, the restaurant underwent renovations about six years ago, sparking its own revitalization.
The aesthetically pleasing interior and the loyalty to Norristown aren’t the only reasons they have been in business for nearly 25 years.
Kim is fiercely committed to a high standard and quality of food. She goes to the fish market in the morning and always wants the best for herself and her customers.
Han describes her mother, who started the business on her own, as tenacious, yet with a caring warmth.
“She remembers people and treats them like family,” said Han.
Customers take notice of the quality of the food and the service (ask for April, many suggest). August Moon features Korean-Japanese dining and maintains a four-star Yelp rating. Diners rave about their sushi (especially the crunchy spicy tuna), stone bowls, and bibim bap.
“Korean is still kind of unknown here. People come for the sushi and end up loving the Korean dishes,” said Han. Also, diners are starting to become more familiar with kimchi and stews since they are trending.
Han pointed out dinner favorites on the extensive menu including:
Seafood Pa Chun – Korea style seafood crepes.
Bibim Bap (mixed rice) – A sizzling stone bowl of rice topped with vegetables and a fried egg, served with a spicy chili sauce on the side. Comes in either chicken, beef, pork or vegetarian.
Kimchi Jigae Stew – Spicy kimchi with pork and tofu.
Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant also hosts traditional live jazz in a classic jazz club setting every second Saturday of the month. The next one is scheduled for March 10th, doors open at 7 p.m. and the music starts at 8 p.m., with the Jim Holton Quartet. August Moon is currently in their fifth season of hosting jazz shows. Richard Rogers “Crying Sam” of Crying Sam Jazz and Entertainment presented the idea and Han and Mrs. Kim were immediately on board.
“Anything to support Norristown, said Han. “We have had a good, positive response and are trying to get more people to come to Norristown.”
August Moon 300 East Main Street, Norristown Facebook: AugustMoonPa Twitter: @AugustMoonPa http://www.augustmoonpa.com 610.277.4008