Korean restaurant Pocha House to open in downtown Sacramento

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1910 Q Street, pictured when occupied by the Highwater Restaurant. Pocha House, a Korean restaurant and pub, is set to open in the building in early 2023.

A space in downtown Sacramento that had been vacant since Highwater closed two years ago will soon see new life. Pocha House, a Korean pub, is expected to open around early next year.

The 1910 Q Street location was once home to Pour House, which the owners converted to Highwater in 2018. The desert-themed restaurant closed in July 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The property sat vacant for the past two years, until Sacramento couple Daniel Ngo and Judy Han signed a lease in June.

“This building has a lot of character,” Ngo said. “It was built in the early 1900s so it has a lot of character and charm and we thought it would be a great opportunity to fill this space and bring it back to life.”

Ngo and Han plan to convert the space into a restaurant that serves comforting Korean food and drink. The word “pocha,” they said, refers to a Korean street food stall.

“We’re bringing that concept here to Sacramento,” Ngo said. “Our setup is a Pocha which is basically a Korean pub that serves authentic Korean comfort food and authentic flavors straight from Judy’s mom, grandmothers or aunts.”

The couple, who were born and raised in Sacramento, have been working on the concept for the restaurant for two years. They first visited the property in November 2021.

Han is not new to the restaurant business as she and her brother own Aloha Sushi in Folsom. But Pocha House will be her first adventure with her husband.

Han said she hopes the pub will help Sacramentans discover things they might not otherwise know about Korea’s food and drink culture.

“It’s our dreams coming true,” Han said. “It’s an exciting process. I think the most important thing for us is just to bring something to Sacramento that we feel has never been seen or done in Sacramento before, and more than that, it’s just our chance to show our culture and d to teach people something new.

David Herrera, the Colliers realtor who co-negotiated the deal for the new restaurant, said Pocha House would be a “great compliment to the community”.

The couple estimated the restaurant would open in early 2023, but said they hoped to open even earlier if possible.

Lucy Hodgman is a former reporting intern for The Sacramento Bee.

Profile photo of Amelia Davidson

Amelia Davidson is a former reporting intern for The Sacramento Bee.

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