Last year, Leaham Claydon and Jianne Jeoung visited South Korea. The trip was a homecoming for Jeoung, who grew up in the city of Incheon, but it also bolstered the duo’s ambition to open a small owner-operated venue in Brisbane.

“[In Korea], they don’t have big operators running restaurants, they have heaps of people doing small things,” Claydon tells Broadsheet. “That was [when we decided our venue] had to be small enough to mostly manage ourselves.”

Snug – the cosy cafe the pair is opening in Coorparoo later this month – promises to be exactly that. It’s a change of pace for the two young chefs, who spent the last few years in busy kitchens. Claydon was recently head chef at Yoko, while Jeoung spent time on the pans at Clarence, Greca and wine bar Niky.

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Despite their age, both have had substantial careers in hospitality already, “around 10 years for me and over 10 years for him,” says Jeoung. “Even though we are pretty young we still got to the point where we were in management roles. We were like, ‘why don’t we do something that is actually ours?’”

Initially Snug will open in the morning, serving St Ali coffee and a unique brunch offering that includes omurice with prawns, a scrambled egg drop sandwich, and a twist on Korean corn cheese with artichoke and provolone. There will also be hard-to-find baked goods, including soft Korean pretzels, which the duo discovered on their recent trip.

When Broadsheet visits, the space is beginning to take shape. The dark green facade stands out on the street, while inside there’s a striking long timber bar and touches of greenery. The ceramic tableware on the shelves was handcrafted by the duo in Daejong in Jeoung’s aunties’ studio, with help from her family.

If you find anything dodgy and wonky, “they were made by us,” Jeoung laughs. “The ones that are really nice were made by my aunties.”

Down the track they plan to extend their opening hours into the evenings. Snug will transform into a wine bar, offering lo-fi drops and a concise menu of share plates and snacks with a Korean touch.

Snug will open, at 321 Chatsworth Road, Coorparoo, in late March.

@snug.bne