Pretentious from downtown Knoxville partners with Seoul Brothers on a new menu



Pretentious Beer Co. has something simmering in the kitchen, and it opens earlier than you might think.

From Thursday, Hong’s Kitchen, a menu of Seoul Brotherswill be served in a new kitchen inside Pretentious in the Old Town.

It’s a partnership between pretentious owner Matthew Cummings and brothers Vic Scott and Josh Coates of the Korean fusion brand. Seoul Brotherswhich opened its doors as a supplier to Marble City Market last fall.

Cummings broke the news with teasers instagram before revealing it on Knox Brew Stories podcast.

Matthew Cummings, founder of Pretentious Beer + Glass Co., smiles during the ÒMade for Knoxville LIVEÓ event hosted by the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center at the Old City Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, May 25, 2022.

“I’ve wanted food here on a regular basis since we opened five years ago, and that’s something we’ve been actively working on, trying to figure out how to get there,” Cummings told Knox News. “We finally got it set up where we have the right time and we have the equipment, we’ve paired it up with the right people. For us, this is much more important than opening the kitchen. It’s a long-term dream that has come true. »

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Cummings opened the Pretentious Glass Co. in 2012 and opened the brewery in 2018 at 131 S. Central St.

Wondering where Hong will fit in the cozy space? Cummings transformed a small office in the back into a small kitchen.

“The whole menu is basically a flavor bomb”

Scott and Coates designed the Hong’s Kitchen menu to continue creating Korean-inspired fusions, but with a more “bar-focused” menu than Seoul Brothers.

They will infuse beer into the menu thanks to beer cheeses and mustards. The menu will also include their version of Buchimgae, or Korean fried pancakes. Coates Philly Vegan Cakes are a combination of the original Korean recipe with a Philly Cheesesteak.

“It will be in crispy pancake form, but it will have caramelized onions and vegan Philadelphia meat, and then it will use the beer in the batter,” Scott said. “It will be quite unique.”

A sign advertising Hong's Kitchen at the Pretentious Beer Co. It opens September 22.

The menu will also include the big kluckin’, Coates’ version of chicken salad. It features kimchi, celery, scallions, kimchi mayonnaise, beer mustard, and chicken on hearty white bread from Old Mill Bread Company.

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Cummings said he “never had chicken salad like this before”.

Hummus bliss will include kimchi hummus as a seasonal flavor. Menu items, from snacks to entrees, cost between $8 and $14.

“The whole menu is basically a flavor bomb,” Coates said. “I want every bite to have an impact.”

After six months, Coates plans to change the menu seasonally, using ingredients sourced from local businesses, farmers and farmer’s market vendors to create new menu items.

Heart Food and Seoul in Downtown Knoxville

Scott and Coates want to continue building their mother’s legacy alongside what they accomplished at Seoul Brothers. Their dishes are inspired by his recipes.

“Our mother’s maiden name was Hong,” Scott said. “It’s just a bit of a way for us to honor him even more.”

The pair launched Seoul Brothers as a pop-up before it opened as a vendor in November 2021 in Knoxville’s downtown food hall.

Josh Coates (left) and Vic Scott (right) posing for a photo.  They open Hong's Kitchen with Pretentious Beer Co.

“Seoul Brothers was our starting point and taking this second step is much more exciting than the first,” Coates said.

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Coates spearheads Hong’s Kitchen while Scott runs Seoul Brothers. With the team they have put together, they are able to “divide and conquer” these two concepts.

Hong’s Kitchen Inside Pretentious Hours:

  • Thursday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday: Open until 10 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Kitchen closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

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