Hana Foods reopens in downtown Camas

The Korean restaurant closed after a May cooking accident

From left to right: brothers Andrew Park, Phillip Park and Eric Park of Hana Foods in downtown Camas pose during a rare lull in customer traffic on Monday, June 25, the restaurant's first day back in business following a May cooking accident that burned Phillip and his mother, Agnes (not pictured), and caused a temporary closure of the popular Korean restaurant.

After a nearly two months’ long closure following an early May cooking accident that left two burned, Hana Foods in downtown Camas is back in business.

What’s more, Hana’s owners are ready to give back to the Camas community, which donated more than $20,000 to help cover expenses during the family-owned Korean restaurant’s temporary shut down.

The teriyaki and Korean cuisine restaurant opened its doors again on Monday, June 25.

The restaurant had closed on May 4, after scalding-hot teriyaki sauce boiled over in the Hana kitchen, injuring owner Phillip Park and his mother, Agnes Park, the restaurant’s main cook.

Phillip said Monday he suffered burns to his right thumb and ankle area, but is mostly healed. He added that he has been trying to take it easy to speed his recovery.

The healing process for Agnes will take a little longer, Phillip said, but she is doing well and the family is trying to determine how much their mother can handle right now.

As she heals, the restaurant will be able to serve the community by providing another option of cuisine downtown, Phillip said. The menu will still feature both teriyaki and Korean food, including Agnes’ popular Napa cabbage, cucumber and radish kimchi.

In response to the restaurant’s abrupt closure in May, Carrie Schulstad, executive director of the Downtown Camas Association, started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise $20,000 for the Park family.

Six days into the online fundraiser, 157 people had contributed funds totally more than $10,000.

The final tally raised was $20,160, donated by 248 community members.

Phillip said the outpouring of community support really helped his family and led to Hana’s reopening on Monday.

“I think it’s just our turn now (to give back),” he said. “It’s very overwhelming, so I’m just thankful for people to see us that way — as hard working, genuine, good people. We’re just thankful, and we just take it day by day.”

He added that the money collected by community members helped alleviate some of the stress the Park family felt after the accident, and also motivated them to get Hana up and running again.

“When you’re getting support from people that you don’t know and that you’ve never met, that really gives you an energy of like, ‘man I’ve got to hurry up and get better, and we need to hurry up and get back into the motion of what we’re doing,'” Phillip said. “That really gave us that little kick. We’re just grateful.”

Phillip said he and Agnes focused on healing for the first few weeks after the accident.

“It’s just a journey,” he said. “I kept telling everyone that it’s just a journey, because it was a very up-and-down kind of thing.”

Park brothers Phillip, Eric and Andrew, along with their uncle, have worked to re-open the restaurant.

Before the incident, most customers saw just Agnes, Eric and Phillip working at the downtown eatery. Now, however, the family has decided to hire additional cashiers and kitchen workers.

“We’re realizing that we’re not robots. We’re realizing that we’re not Superman,” Phillip said. “For us, it’s always go, go, go — we never stop.”

Phillip said he hopes to hire someone who can be an all-around worker — someone who does their best and always tries to improve and grow with the restaurant.

“We’re just thankful that the community and everybody around helped us to get through that,” he said. “We’re going to be trying to find ways to give back. We never thought that we’d receive this much. We always give, give, give, but then sometimes it’s good to receive, too.”