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41 Open a Restaurant in Noryangjin 2

 Gun-Ho went to a realtor's office in Noryangjin.

This time, he knew what to expect there since he had been in realtor's office in the Hongik University area earlier.

"Hello? I am looking for a store on the street over there. I am thinking of around 20 pyung for the size."

Gun-Ho sounded like an expert in the field.

"We do have one about 15 pyung large. Would you like to take a look? Its location is good."

"Sure. I'd like to see it."

Gun-Ho followed the realtor to visit the store.

"The foot traffic is a bit..."

"If you hang a new store sign and make the entrance bright with more lights, you will get more foot traffic to the store."

"How much did you say it was?"

"120 million won!"

"It's pricey for the size."

Gun-Ho shook his head like he knew a lot about the real estate market.

"Give me your contact number. I will let you know when a good store appears on the market."

Gun-Ho left his phone number with the realtor and walked out of the office. While Gun-Ho was looking for a property in Noryangjin, the realtor who showed the small bar around Hongik University kept calling him. He said he reduced the price down to 140 million won and asked Gun-Ho to come quickly to his office to finalize the deal.

"I'm not a pushover. I know enough!"

Gun-Ho told that realtor, "Okay," but he never visited his office again.

Gun-Ho stopped by another realtor's office in Noryangjin.

"Do you have a good property for a restaurant business?"

"Why don't you come and have a seat?"

"So, do you have one?"

"We have one for 300 million won. 40 pyung large! They are currently running a chicken feet restaurant. The location is excellent."

"That's way over my budget.

"Well, there is a smaller one on the market, but the owner keeps changing his mind... If you are really interested in it, I will talk to the owner."

"What do you mean by 'keeps changing his mind'?"

"He said the price was 100 million won yesterday, and says 120 today, and then will say 110 tomorrow; he keeps changing the price like that."

"How big is the store?"

"It's 18 pyung large. The owner has run his business in that location for a long time."

"Can I take a look?"

"Did you bring the earnest money? You have to be serious about this property for me to make an inquiry to the owner."

"No, I didn't, but if I like the location, I can make a contract right away."

"Okay then. Let's go!"

The store was a deep-fried chicken restaurant. Gun-Ho had to walk a long way away from the main street, but there were many OneRoomTels around that area and the location was not bad at all. The restaurant was old and not very clean though.

"You can freshen up the inside of the restaurant. It will look good."

"Did you say 100 million won?"

"I don't like that as* owner. I will smash the price down to 95 million won for you."

The owner was watching TV that was hung on the wall when Gun-Ho entered the restaurant with the realtor. The owner seemed to be startled by the unexpected visit as he jumped up from his seat when he saw them.

"I brought someone who is looking for a property. Sir, 100 million won is too pricey for this store and no one will pay that much. This buyer said 95 million won was still too high, but I insisted that he had to see it."

"I heard the store next to us was sold for 120 million won..."

"That store is totally different from this one. You can't sell this store if you keep on insisting on that price. Let me talk to you for a second."

The realtor went outside with the restaurant owner while leaving Gun-Ho in the restaurant. After talking in an undertone for a while, the realtor and the owner came back to the restaurant.

"He said he would need time to think about it. I have another property I'd like to show you. Let's go see that one too."

As the realtor walked out of the restaurant with Gun-Ho, he whispered into Gun-Ho's ear in a low voice, "I told him there was another store on the market, 20 pyung large and 95 million won. I made that up to convince him. I think it's working. If he didn't trouble me with the price like that, I wouldn't have done this to him. Well, anyway, I think I can get it for 95 million won. I will let you know tomorrow. You need to bring the earnest money then. If I break down the price for you, the security deposit is 25 million won and the premium is 70 million won. The monthly rent is 1,600,000 won."

"The earnest money is 10%, right?"

"Is this your first time? I thought you have done this before."

"Um, I have but it was in a province."

"If we make the contract tomorrow, you pay 25 million to the building owner and the premium to the restaurant owner."

"Right. I know that."

After giving his phone number to the realtor, Gun-Ho went back to the deep-fried chicken restaurant. He wanted to take a close look at the property again.

"Hmm... It's not bad at all. If I change the interior, it can get a totally different look."

While Gun-Ho was looking at the outside of the restaurant, the restaurant owner walked out of the restaurant.

"Eek, let's go before he sees me!"

Gun-Ho thought he would be embarrassed if the restaurant owner saw him coming back to look at his restaurant again. Gun-Ho hid himself quickly by going to another alley.

The following day, Gun-Ho received a call from the realtor and went to the deep fried chicken restaurant with the earnest money. There was no customer since it was morning time.

"95 million won is really a good price for the store."

The restaurant owner smiled at what the realtor said. After a moment, a man in his 70s entered the restaurant.

"This is the building owner."

Gun-Ho greeted him by bowing. The realtor and the building owner seemed to be close to each other.

"You seem to be getting younger every day, sir. You look healthier."

"Thank you."

The building owner seemed to be satisfied with what the realtor said.

"He is an elder of a church, very nice person. It's important to have a nice person as your building owner. You are lucky."

Gun-Ho bowed again to the building owner. Gun-Ho remembered he was told that the building owner of the small bar in the Hongik University area was also an elder of a church. He thought many elders in a church owned a building.

The building owner asked Gun-Ho, "What sort of business did you plan to have here?"

"I will open a Vietnamese restaurant."

The building owner nodded his head while the restaurant owner looked worried. Gun-Ho signed the contract and paid the full amount of 25 million won to the building owner without going through the earnest money process. To the restaurant owner, Gun-Ho gave 10 million won for now and promised to pay him the remaining 60 million ten days later when the restaurant owner would vacate the store.

Gun-Ho followed the realtor to his office while carrying the contract.

"Did you say this was your first time opening a restaurant?"

"Oh, I have done it before for a short amount of time in a province..."

"If you are new to the restaurant business, you need to get training and register your business. You also have to get a food service license."

"Huh? A food service license?"

"Haha, well, I knew you were not aware of all these requirements. Oh, please give me the realtor fee now. Also, you need to give me an additional 1 million won since I worked so hard to reduce the price from 100 million won down to 95 million won for you."

"Huh? Additional 1 million?"

"I could have asked you more."

Gun-Ho felt compelled to pay the additional fee. He took out one more check of 1 million won from his wallet. He had prepared a few more 1 million checks in case he needed them.

The realtor took the realtor fee plus the 1 million won check from Gun-Ho and put them to the inner pocket of his jacket. He then smiled with his eyes.

"If you have to sell the store in the future, I can help you again. We can help each other, right?"

The realtor took out a bottle of Bacchus (a Korean energy drink) and handed it to Gun-Ho, and said, "Before you can open a restaurant, you need to receive one-day training provided by the Korean Foodservice Industry Association. For the business license, you can register with the Dongjak District Tax Office; you will have to bring the contract we made today. Also, don't forget to bring your government-issued ID when you visit the Dongjak District Tax Office."

The realtor knew from the beginning that Gun-Ho was a newbie in the restaurant business.

"What about the food service license? Where can I get it?"

"You know the Jangseungbaegi Subway Station, right? If you walk all the way up from the Noryangjin elementary school to the three-way intersection around that subway station, you will see the Dongjak District Health Center. They will issue the food service license."