Sophie Bolich

Korean Noodle Shop Opens in Third Ward

Sinabro softly opened last week, serving dumplings, noodles, cocktails and much more.

By - Mar 28th, 2024 02:35 pm
Site of Sinabro, 316 N. Milwaukee St. Photo taken March 8, 2024 by Sophie Bolich.

Site of Sinabro, 316 N. Milwaukee St. Photo taken March 8, 2024 by Sophie Bolich.

Much like the gentle heat of gochugaru, a chili powder that’s ubiquitous in Korean cooking, Sinabro is taking a slow-burning approach to its opening.

The noodle house flipped the lights on its open sign for the first time March 20, welcoming friends, neighbors and a handful of curious passersby for a taste of its Korean dishes, ramen, udon and dumplings.

In the coming weeks, the restaurant, 316 N. Milwaukee St., will continue to ramp up productions ahead of its eventual grand opening. The move is a testament to Sinabro’s title, a Korean word (시나브로) meaning “slowly but surely” or “little by little.”

The restaurant is a project of Haneul (Han) Kim, who partnered with his father, Jongsoo Kimto open the business. It’s a first for Han, who grew up working in his parents’ restaurants but hadn’t — until now — opened his own.

The elder Kim and his wife, Hae Jeong, are experienced restaurateurs with ties to various establishments across the city including Maru Korean Bistro, where they are co-owners. Jongsoo is also co-owner of Char’d, Merge and Kanpai Izakaya.

On a recent weeknight, a steady flow of customers filled the dining room and bar at Sinabro, many of whom remarked that they noticed the restaurant while driving or walking past.

Han and his bar manager, Brandon Crisp, were both on hand, chatting with customers as they ferried colorful cocktails and heaping plates from table to table. The scene was convivial, with pairs of girlfriends gabbing at the bar over a platter of stir-fried udon, couples cozied up in a sequestered dining area and small groups tucked into booths on the south side of the L-shaped space.

The menu, organized into starters, Korean ramen and udon and Sinabro specials, is authentic yet approachable, offering dishes such as jap chae (glass noodles made of sweet potato starch stir-fried with veggies and protein), potato sujebi (hand-pulled noodle soup) and duk bokki (a sweet, spicy and chewy rice cake dish that’s also known as tteokbokki) which have previously been difficult to find in Milwaukee.

The restaurant also serves steamed edamame, several varieties of dumplings, Korean-style ribs, spicy scallion chicken and chili shrimp, as well as a selection of udon and ramen dishes. Sinabro specials encompass popular Korean dishes such as bulgogi, soft tofu stew, bibimbap, sweet sour pork, kimchi fried rice and more.

For dessert, Sinabro offers two varieties of bingsoo, a shaved ice dessert with sweet toppings.

The drink menu, created by Crisp, features a lineup of pairable wines and beers, including Spotted Cow, Sapporo, Oberon, Lakefront Brewery IPA and Eagle Park Brewing Company’s Set List IPA on tap. An assortment of boilermakers and towers are also available, along with several varieties of soju, a rice-based liquor that’s steeped in tradition.

The cocktail list features innovative numbers including a plum drop martini with vodka, choya plum wine, plum tea and lime. Another sip, the crisp dragon, combines rum, lemongrass, pineapple, orange, lime, mint and ginger beer for a tropical twist on a classic dark and stormy.

For the non-drinkers, Crisp has curated a selection of cream sodas and the baby dragon, a N/A version of the crisp dragon. There’s also hot tea, iced lattes and Milkis, a Korean soft drink.

The space itself, formerly home to Fool’s Errand, is cozy and cool, decorated with funky gallery walls and lots of plants. Guests can choose their own experience for the evening, opting to sit at the bar, where sports games play on an overhead TV; at a window-side table outfitted with rattan chairs; on a plush, cushiony banquette; or in a tall, semi-private booth.

Sinabro plans to announce its grand opening date in the coming weeks. Until then, the restaurant is open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Dinner hours are Sunday through Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

To view the full menu, or to make a reservation, visit the restaurant’s website.


If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real, independent journalism. Plus you get some cool added benefits.

Categories: Food & Drink

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us