Sweet Frog founder debuts new restaurant in Carytown

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Zzaam’s Carytown space opened last year.

Derek Cha is back in Carytown.

The founder of the Sweet Frog frozen yogurt chain last week opened the first Richmond location of his new restaurant, Zzaam Fresh Korean Grill.

The restaurant opened Nov. 6 at 3300 W. Cary St. in a 2,400-square-foot space formerly home to Carytown Cleaners.

Cha, who started Sweet Frog with a location in Short Pump in 2009 and grew it to hundreds of locations,launched Zzaam last year with a food truck in Richmond and later a brick-and-mortar location in Charlottesville.

Derek Cha opened the doors to his new Carytown fast-casual restaurant last week. Photos by Michael Thompson.

Derek Cha opened the doors to his new Carytown fast-casual restaurant last week. Photos by Michael Thompson.

Zzaam specializes in customized Korean bowls. Customers have their choice of rice, noodles, salad, or kimchee burrito. Large meals cost about $7. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

“It’s been very positive,” Cha said of Zzaam’s first lunch crowd last week. “The excitement was tremendous.”

Cha said it cost about $700,000 to get Zzaam open in Richmond, which he financed himself.

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