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Poll: Do You Think the 'Koreatown' Stigma Still Exists in Annandale?

Annandale is home to several Korean restaurants and businesses.

It’s no secret that Annandale is home to many restaurants, but some residents have told Patch they think the ratio of restaurants to other businesses is disproportionate.

Many of the restaurants in the area are Korean or Korean-American owned. (Humorously, the availability of bulgogi in Fairfax County came up at the end of ChokeOnFunny‘s “Fairfax Rap” on YouTube.)

In fact, some residents of the D.C. metro area refer to Annandale as “Koreatown,” in part due to Annandale’s relatively dense Korean population (compared to the rest of Fairfax County) and the large number of Korean businesses. The stereotype has divided Annandale residents—something The Washington Post addressed back in 2005.

Some residents whom Annandale Patch has spoken to in the past year see Annandale as a diverse community that has the potential for business expansion far beyond ethnic cuisine. Back in September, an task force (composed of business owners and community members) unveiled its , which aims to promote mixed-use development in the Annandale community.

Dave Fuller February 23, 2012 at 04:48 PM
I never had Korean food before I moved here, I freaking LOVE it! I been to a lot the the local restaurants, even the one that don't have signs in English. Some times I have no idea what I'm eating. I'm proud to live in "Korea-dale". It is the spice that makes living in the NoVA suburbs bearable.
Sabrina Iacaruso February 24, 2012 at 12:25 PM
I've lived in Annandale for the 22 years, and I remember that it used to be a tiny, sleepy little town with nothing to do and nowhere to go. The fact of the matter is the growing number of businesses in Annandale, Korean or otherwise, has changed my perception. I think it's great that Annandale is called Korea-town, especially when it generates a lot of revenue from non-Annandale visitors who come from all over, and I mean all over, to dine and shop at Korean businesses. Most of the people in my network will drive all the way from Connecticut just to eat at Honey Pig. If anyone really wants to know who's going to these establishments, just go to Yelp and read all of the reviews. I'd be interested to know exactly how much money that these businesses bring in because I think Annandale relies on it heavily. However, I also think that Annandale needs more diversity. If the residents want to change their unofficial moniker, then the COC needs to attract other investors... and I haven't seen anything new open in a really long time except for chain businesses, besides the small Korean businesses. I find it offensive when people use tradition/history to hide behind their xenophobic views.
Cheryl Bugelski February 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM
By the look of the outdoor decor...I think Mexican.
HARLEY RIDER April 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM
I have lived in Annandale for over 50 years. To say this town has changed would be an understatement and not for the better mind you. Don't get me wrong. Annandale does have it's bright spots. I also welcome any and all types of business here. However, when I drive up and down 236 and see the signs at the various places of business and can't read them, it makes me sad. It's as if these places only wish to do business with a target group. Well, I am too old to learn Korean. Besides ENGLISH is spoken here in this town. If I can't read the sign then you wont get my business and I am perfectly fine with that. Not to mention I get plenty of sleep at night. I thought there was some sort of rule or regulation in place reference signage. I guess I was wrong. That's a shame.
SLS May 02, 2012 at 04:03 AM
The reason we have not seen any new development in Annandale, is that theKorean business community buys up property before anyone has a change to bid, they do not sell or do business with non-asians. So we will not see any true growth or improvement in the Annandale retail or restaurant buiness until this monopy is broken (Period).

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