Keith Lee discusses the Las Vegas Restaurant whose owner has Stage 4 Cancer

Keith Lee’s review of the restaurant Dynamite has gone viral.
Steve Park

  • Jong Park was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer after opening a restaurant in Las Vegas, his son said.
  • TikToker Keith Lee reviewed the Korean restaurant after hearing it was struggling.
  • Lee’s review has drawn attention to the restaurant, which has gone from 20 to 100 customers a day.

TikToker Keith Lee said his review of a family-run restaurant in Las Vegas has led to nearly $30,000 in donations from strangers who want to help the owner, who has stage 4 cancer, keep the business afloat.

Lee — who often creates content from tasting food from small businesses — shared a TikTok on Feb. 26 where he said he was inspired to review Dynamite Korean Street Food & Sushi/Grill after an employee named Reggy sent him an e- post to share the story of the owner, Jong Park.

In the clip, which has 11.3 million views as of Saturday, Lee says Dynamite recently opened but struggled in the wake of Jong’s cancer diagnosis.

“The email said, in my own words, ‘I am an employee here at this family-owned business. We just opened two weeks ago. It’s been really slow,” Lee said. “The owner, right after he found out he got his dream of having a restaurant, was diagnosed with stage four neck cancer, and he still shows up and cooks every day.”

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In his video, Lee said he spent $79.50 on food at the restaurant — ordering in a deep voice to hide his identity — and while he waited he talked to the owner’s son Steve. According to Lee, Steve told him business had been slow, with about 20 customers coming in on an average day.

TikTokers went on to review the food he ordered, which included Galbi short ribs, japchae and bulgogi. In his video, Lee suggested that some of the food could have benefited from the addition of different sauces, and rated the dishes, giving most between seven and nine out of 10 points.

Soon after Lee posted his review on TikTok, things started to change for the Park family

Speaking to Insider, Steve said he found it hard to describe how grateful he and his family were to Lee for shining a light on their struggle.

Before Lee’s TikTok, Steve said his family considered bankruptcy several times. He added that he himself had invested “a whopping” $200,000 in max. credit card and that his parents had invested their savings to buy the restaurant and keep it going while they opened.

“It was beyond extreme financial burden and pressure,” Steve said. “This really helps our family and my dad get some peace of mind.”

Since the review, he said the number of customers per day has jumped to an average of between 80 and 120, with sales increasing from between $800 and $1,000 per day to between $2,000 and $3,000.

But because business has picked up so much, they’ve had to put in a 30-40 minute waiting list as Steve’s mum and dad, even with his condition, are still the only ones cooking in the kitchen.

“My parents still need more chefs on staff, so we are actively working on that and hiring, but it will take time,” he said. “We still have 15-17 hour days with 2-3 hours of sleep. It’s really tough, but we’re grateful that we have the opportunity to serve delicious food to customers.”

In a TikTok uploaded to the restaurant’s account on Monday, which has over 2.2 million views as of Saturday, Steve showed viewers clips of his father receiving cancer treatment.

“It hasn’t been easy for us,” Steve said in the video. “We are first generation immigrants coming to America to fulfill the American dream. And I wanted to do everything we can to open this new restaurant, which we did. When we lost all hope, Keith Lee gave us a great review and revived our restaurant, and saved my father and our business from going under.”

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Because of the number of Lee’s followers who reached out and wanted to help, Steve said he set up a GoFundMe page to collect donations that would help run the business and pay for Jong’s medical bills. It has raised nearly $31,150 as of Saturday.

In the description of his GoFundMe page, Steve wrote that his family had spent six months worrying about how they would afford the $8,000 per month restaurant rent on top of Jong’s medical expenses.

Steve has shared several updates on his father’s treatment and the restaurant on TikTok, including a video from Thursday where he says they’ve decided to close the restaurant for a week every three weeks until May so Jong doesn’t have to work while he’s gone through chemotherapy.

The family restaurant Park has gone from having around five followers on TikTok to over 80,000

Lee shared an update on TikTok on Monday, a day after he posted his review of the restaurant. In the clip, which has over 2.4 million views as of Saturday, Lee said he spoke to Steve on the phone about the restaurant’s growing popularity.

“God is amazing. I’m grateful and I’m grateful to everyone who traveled there and everyone who was very friendly,” Lee said.

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Lee also shared screenshots of the restaurant’s TikTok followers before and after his review, showing how the number jumped from less than five to over 20,000 a day later. As of Saturday, Dynamite Korean Street Food & Sushi/Grill has nearly 81,400 followers on the platform.

Keith Lee did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

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