HomeKorean AmericanFor Korean Americans, Dallas's Koreatown is just a beginning

For Korean Americans, Dallas’s Koreatown is just a beginning

2023 turned out to be a banner year for Korean Americans in Dallas.

The long-sought street signs designating a 1.5 mile area around Royal Lane and Harry Hines Boulevard as Koreatown became a reality in December.

In May, Gov Greg Abbott signed a proclamation making Koreatown official and the area is expected to become even more visible when the popular Korean grocery chain H-Mart opens in late 2025.

The effort to give the city’s 40,000 Korean Americans a neighborhood they can call their own has been a decade-long one, but it gained momentum after a shooting in Dallas at a Korean hair salon injured three people, bringing urgency to giving Koreans a sense of belonging and safety.

The Dallas Korean American Chamber of Commerce largely spearheaded the effort. The Chamber says it’s time for it to hand that role over to a new organization.

“Ultimately, Koreatown is not for the chamber; it’s really for the people of Texas,” said John Lee of the Korean American Chamber of Commerce to the Dallas News. “I believe the right situation is for the concerned Korean Americans in the Dallas area to help build and beautify it. The proposal has to be made to give the opportunity to those who want to be involved.”

Lee and other members of the chamber are now working to form a new non-profit to oversee the future of Koreatown. They hope to join forces with nearby Carrollton which is just seven miles north and has its own Koreatown.

There’s also talk of organizing more cultural festivities in the area. They want the neighborhood to be welcoming to all and not just Koreans.

“Not much is going to change if Koreatown is just something that the Korean community creates for other Korean Americans,” said barbershop owner GapJun Lee to the Dallas News.

Lingua Asia lists the top 10 things to do in Dallas’s Koreatown which it says is the second largest Koreatown in the South next to Atlanta.

The list includes nail salons, saunas, Korean food, Noraebang (Korean version of karaoke), dancing, and Korean art.

The area formerly was known as the Asian Trade District.

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