With buildings spread out over its vast campus, the prestigious Seoul National University is quiet and peaceful. As one of the most competitive schools to get into, the students here are notoriously studious—so much so that the stereotype is that they don’t know how to have fun. However, once you see their go-to party district, Sharosu-gil, it’s likely you won’t believe this to be true. Alive with bustling bars and pubs every evening, Sharosu-gil attracts students and businessmen alike. The name parodies the posh Garosu-gil and the suffix is a nod to the Seoul National University main gate said to resemble the character “샤” (phonetically “sha”). Just a couple years ago, this street was a mainly residential area and the remnants of that still show: dry cleaners and tailor shops with retro signs, along with butchers and street food stalls reminiscent of traditional Korean marketplaces. However, these stores now have trendy, young venues as neighbors. A plastic covered pocha selling tteokbokki stands alongside a shiny new burger place boasting authentic American cuisine. Foreign dishes from South America to France have made their way here in places that offer cozy and friendly atmospheres. One-fifth of the length of Garosugil, the neighborhood is rapidly developing and it’s an exciting time to see it form into an area that is cheaper than Itaewon and quieter than Hongdae. This weekend, forget those spots and stop by Sharosu-gil to let loose alongside some of Korea’s most esteemed students.
Sharosu-gil shakes it off
The other side of SNU’s campus
“I work at Ottogi Bunsik in Nakseongdae Market on Sharosu-gil. This street used to be for residents only, and residents still come to the market often, but now thanks to shops with more youthful atmospheres and a wider variety of food options, the amount of younger customers is growing. I think the neighborhood is becoming more vibrant.”
“To be honest, Sharosu-gil is quite far from Seoul National—about 20 to 30 minutes. So it’s easier to come after classes at night for a drink with friends. The places here usually don’t open until night. I used to go to Sinchon or Hongdae, but now it’s easy to get a variety of food at affordable prices nearby, so I come here more often. New shops are steadily turning up one by one and I can’t wait until all the streets of sharosu-gil are brightly lit”