Magpie is one of Seoul’s most popular craft beer houses, started by five friends with a home-brewing hobby that grew by leaps and bounds. As the craft beer scene in Seoul has boomed, Magpie expanded to locations in Hongdae and Jeju Island. They’re constantly experimenting with recipes with a variety of unique imported hops. In addition to their porter and their pale ale (now a classic that is served at bars around Seoul), they offer varieties such as The American Muscle (an American wheat) and The Ghost (a German gose). Whether you’re looking for a simple dinner or a snack to go with your beer, their pizza is one of the best in the area—it’s a simple handmade dough topped with fresh ingredients and baked to order.Magpie is as much a community center as it is a bar, hosting concerts, classes and workshops on food and drink.
Tucked away on Usadan-ro 14gil, with wide windows reflecting all of the fun that is going on inside, the exterior of The Link Seoul is contrasted with that of the transgender bars nearby. Although it is now a quiet alley, where the bar is located is the area that used to belong to the “real Itaewon.” As you open its large doors and walk inside, its comforting, loft apartment-like space welcomes you. It has got a nice terrace and a proper bar, where The Link’s friendly owner and bartender greet you as if you are an old friend. With regularly held LGBTQ events and performances, The Link Seoul is indeed an LGBTQ-friendly bar. Yet, as its name suggests, this young bar constantly attempts to reinvent itself to become an even more inclusive hub of diverse cultures.
Hannam Liquor is not the most obvious bar. Even if you had its address, you might easily miss and walk by it. And, until you go completely down to the basement through the long and narrow stairs, you’d never know what you’ll see. Inside, the first thing that pops up in your scene is not a bar but a fancy boutique. Among over 400 types of liquors available here, the particularly unusual selection you’ll find is the 3 types of St. George gins: the very forest-like Terroir, Botanivore which has 19 types of plants including cilantro, cinnamon and lime and the St. George Dry Gin made with 100% pot-distilled rye. Don’t worry if too many of the selections seem unfamiliar — boutique manager and sommelier Kim Min-ju is always happy to offer detailed information on and interesting stories behind each liquor. Behind the glass wall in front of the boutique is where Hannam Liquor’s bar section is located. All types of gin and rum sold at the boutique are available here as a glass and cocktails. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, just ask — bartender Kang Geun-hyeok who is in charge of the bar section will create any cocktail that is not on the menu. 5,000 won cover (per person) at the bar includes a bit of dried nuts and fruits, as well as bottled water (still or fizzy). The combination of simple but elegant interior, dim lighting along with flickering candles on each of the tables creates a refined cave-like atmosphere. It is obvious that Hannam Liquor has succeeded in executin
Is there any expression more sensual or fierce than “eat me?” In keeping with the name, the owner is no modest killjoy. Located across from the sweatbox that is Queen, Eat Me is the perfect place for break from the popular gay club, to sit down for a cool drink and meet people. Doors open from evening through 6am. Gay, straight, and every variety in between—all are welcome here.
Unit 208, Building 31, Hangang Mansion, Ichon-dong — even if you had the address, you’d probably wander around, looking up and down the run-down building in which it’s located. While walking up the stairs built in the early 1970’s after vaguely locating this new café and bar, you’d only see a few residents of the apartments around it visiting their family doctor or picking up small bags of groceries. Hell Café Spiritus, however, has been attracting coffee and cocktail aficionados as well as industry professionals from all over Seoul, with its all-star squad of baristas (who are behind Bogwang-dong’s Hell Café) and bartenders — namely, Lim Seong-eun, Kwon Yo-seop, Lee Hun teamed up with Vault +82’s Seo Yong-won. Inside, you’ll find a minimalistic setting: the tables, bar counter, bar back and even window blinds are all dark brown woods. The simple flower arrangements placed on a few of the tables add an emphasis to the exceptional simplicity, while the classical music played through the large speakers create a nostalgic feel that goes well with the surrounding area. As for the café menu, it is exactly the same as that of Bogwang-dong’s Hell Café, the first venture of the star barista team; the famous Hell Drip and classic cappuccino are available from 9am until 9pm. From 7pm until 2am, a large selection of cocktails, single malt whiskeys and other liquors are available. The list of cocktails including Rolls-Royce (which, here, is made with the Macallan Rare Cask, orange bitte