It's only a Papermoon

November 14, 1999|By Nancy Menefee Jackson | Nancy Menefee Jackson,Special to the Sun

While many career opportunities in the area are related to the high-technology arena, Un Kim has found continuing success in a more traditional field -- the restaurant industry.

Kim emigrated from Korea in the mid-1970s and began her career soon after by taking over a failing carryout in downtown Baltimore. After rejuvenating and selling that business, she did the same with a cafe across from the University of Maryland hospital.

Her latest business, the Papermoon Diner, which opened in 1994, reflects not only years of experience but also the creativity that is part of any successful start-up company.

Papermoon, on West 29th Street, isn't your average diner. Sure, it's open 24 hours and you can get pancakes and meatloaf, but the decor sets it apart. Mannequins welcome you. Vibrant colors abound, and everyday objects are transformed into sculpture.

Kim, who says she "just fell in love" with Baltimore, has plans to build a restaurant and bar called Inferno on an adjacent property in the Remington neighborhood.

She says she has found "the most opportunity and places to be" in Baltimore.

"As long as you keep your integrity, it all comes back," she says.

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