Updated: Apr 5, 2019
By Vickie Lewis
The catchy restaurant name, “Jumping Spoon,” was not an eating establishment I’d previously heard of in West Contra Costa County. My first thoughts were that this would either be a place to get Pho (Vietnamese soup) or possibly a new ice cream or gelato venue. I was surprised when I looked the name up and found that it was a new Korean restaurant in Hercules. My previous experiences eating Korean food were at Korean barbecue restaurants where customers cook their own meats on gas grills built into the dining tables. But this is not the case at Jumping Spoon—customers can simply sit back and relax in this contemporary, comfortable venue and enjoy authentic Korean cuisine prepared by experienced Korean chefs, and served by smiling, friendly staff members.
Jumping Spoon is located on the bay side of Sycamore Avenue in Hercules on the ground level of the Aventine luxury apartment complex. It is a desirable location, away from the traffic and bustle of the main Hercules business district. The ambience of the area makes the location perfect for a casual, but elegant venue like the Jumping Spoon. The business was opened on April 16, 2018 by owner Eric Kim, a local Hercules resident and long-time restaurateur. It was probably a bit unnerving for Eric that only two customers showed up for the grand opening that day! But with a little advertising and a lot of word-of-mouth testimonies, more and more people are discovering Jumping Spoon to be one of the area’s popular and classy restaurants boasting a wide variety of Korean cuisine.
Eric Kim learned many of his culinary skills from watching and assisting his mother cook Korean meals for the family as he grew up. When he became an adult, he pursued a non-culinary career; but, after working a traditional “9 to 5” job for a short period of time, he realized it was definitely not for him. Eric decided to go into business for himself leveraging his cooking skills. When he moved to Hercules from Orange County seventeen years ago, Eric opened Mongolian Barbecue restaurants at two local malls, including the one at Hilltop Mall in Richmond which he still owns and operates. Gradually, Eric realized that there were no Korean restaurants in the local community where he lived, which meant that those seeking authentic Korean cuisine had to travel to Oakland, San Francisco or