After months of delays, a long-awaited restaurant is finally open, offering two new dining experiences unlike anything else in Tuscaloosa.

It's been a little more than a year since the Thread first reported that a seafood restaurant off Skyland Boulevard was permanently closed, and would be replaced by a KPOT.

Getting open took longer than owners expected, but KPOT finally opened to the public Monday. Thanks to the generosity of manager Faye Lu, the Thread got a sneak peek at the new restaurant Sunday during a private opening for friends and family.

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(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
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Inside, two distinct new dining experiences await.

When ordering Korean barbeque, a circular grill top in the middle of the table is heated to high temperatures, and guests order meat, seafood, veggies and more. The ingredients are delivered raw to be cooked on the grill however guests see fit, with a mind-blowing number of sauces and ingredients to combine and make every experience unique.

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
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Both the Korean BBQ and Hot Pot are all-you-can-eat offerings, so guests can try bulgogi, steak, shrimp, short rib and more - although the menu notes guests may be charged extra for excessive food waste, so don't order much more than you plan to eat.

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
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The hot pot experience is different and just as new to Tuscaloosa - while the barbeque grill is shared, each guest who chooses the hot pot will have their own range eye at the table for bringing bowls of broth to a boil.

Guests select a base from a list including miso soup, Szechuan spicy broth, healthy herbal broth and many more, then pick which noodles and other ingredients to drop into the broth and cook.

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
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When the soup is hot and your dumplings or meatballs and noodles are cooked through, you ladle the soup into a bowl and enjoy.

A long list of options for bases, noodles and add-ins make the hot pot possibilities just as endless as those on the Korean barbeque side.

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
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Patrons pick between the Korean barbeque experience or the hot pot, or pay a small premium to have both options in one sitting.

Both are complemented by a truly huge, centrally located buffet where patrons self-serve sides, snacks, sweets, sauces and more.

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
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(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
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(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
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(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
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A large bar in the restaurant also promises to eventually serve KPOT's signature cocktails and more, but the restaurant on Courtney Drive has not yet received its license to sell liquor, so the bar is temporarily closed.

Tuscaloosa can go check KPOT out for themselves now - the long-awaited restaurant finally opened Monday. Lunch hours and pricing run 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. every weekday, and dinner prices start a 4 p.m. on weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday.

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For more exclusive coverage of restaurant and retail development across West Alabama, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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