Husband and wife duo Shea Roggio and Alice Chang are bringing Korean fried chicken to Phoenixville later this year. The pair plan to open Soko Bag at 95 Nutt Road by September.
Soko Bag gained fans last year as a pop-up in Manayunk’s Pizza Jawn.The restaurant is taking over the space vacated by Sal’s Pizza Box.
Soko Bag will feature an array of local wines, beers, and spirits, in addition to selling its own home-brewed blueberry cider.
Shea Roggio spoke to What Now Philadelphia about Soko Bag’s long journey from an idea to a pop-up to a brick and mortar. The earliest seeds for Soko Bag were planted when Roggio met Alice in Dubai in 2017. The pair traveled to Alice’s home in South Korea after the pandemic broke out, igniting a passion for Korean fried chicken.
Roggio and Chang dedicated considerable time to finding the perfect stateside location for Soko Bag. Roggio states “Phoenixville is where we moved to when returning from South Korea and it felt so natural to find a spot here. We actually began looking for brick and mortars back in July of 2022 so it took us almost a year to find the right place, but we were patient.”
Roggio hopes to replicate the feel of a bustling Seoul bar with Soko Bag, crediting a memorable travel experience with the inspiration. Roggio says “The very first time my wife and I went to Seoul, Korea we landed around 3 am. So we checked into a hotel in Seoul an hour later and found ourselves jet lagged, unable to sleep. At 4:30 am we decided to go out and grab some breakfast and landed at a PACKED korean fried chicken place that was serving a variety of chicken, beer and had a lot of international sports on the TV. And I immediately fell in love with the fried chicken & beer business model.”
Chang and Roggio are both new to the restaurant business. The pair have received considerable assistance from friends within the industry in turning Soko Bag into a brick and mortar establishment. Roggio states that Phoenixville has proven a welcoming home for the endeavor and its potential future.
The Nutt Road Soko Bag is only the beginning for Roggio and Chang. Roggio states “From the beginning we set the goal of opening 10 locations in the next 5 years. Of course a lot of that expansion will depend on the success of our first location, but everyone in Phoenixville has been so supportive I have no doubt the target is reasonable.”