Where do the waygukins gather in this tiny city? Considering the few searches for “Chungju foreigner bars” at least a couple of people are looking. Here’s a lit of the bars where I’ve had consistent waygook sightings, sometimes of foreigners I don’t even know.
This dive in Shinae tries exceptionally hard to be much more Western than Korean. Although most foreigners agree it’s a shit hole, we just can’t seem to stop getting bombed here. They have darts, tequila and whiskey by the bottle. The staff is friendly and English-proficient. However keep a close eye on your tab, there’s been more than one incident of over-priced bills at the end of the night. Expect to pay anywhere from 7,000 won to 150,000 won for a night out here.
Directions: Take a taxi or walk to TTC (the movie theater) in Shinae. From TTC walk a few blocks north until you see the huge red sign pusling “Dangerous.”
2. Jazz and Sanjo
In complete opposition to the party at Dangerous, is the cozy and comfortable Jazz and Sanjo. It’s the only place in Chungju to enjoy the local microbrew Red Rock. A delicious pale ale anyone who’s been in Korea for more than two weeks should try. Another highlight for this bar is that it’s a great place for the non-alcoholics, too. I feel just as comfortable drinking a honey ginger cha as I do drinking mikju.
Jazz is popular with foreigners for it’s Western feel, yet it still manages to be distinctly Korean. You just can’t beat the relaxing atmosphere. The owner likes jazz music, photography, beer and tea so that’s exactly what you get in this quiet out of the way bar. It’s not too pricey either with drinks averaging 5,000 won here.
Directions: Ask a taxi driver to take you to Jazz and Sanjo, “Jazz an’ Sanjo ka juseyo?” Most know where it is. If not, from Shinae parking lot walk about five blocks, turn down the fifth intersection you come to. (There’s a sea food restaurant with a big blue sign.) Then walk or drive until you think you’ve gone too far, but keep going. You’re going to almost make it to a Christian church, then suddenly you’ll see a tiny white sign that says Jazz and Sanjo with a gate opening on a sweet little cottage.
Victor’s in Yeonsudong near Prince Hotel is a great bar for getting rowdy with a few friends. The quesadilla on the menu is surprisingly tasty and even comes with some delicious salsa. The owner is an absolute sweet heart. You’ll always be well-cared for here, Taeyang has taken it upon himself to call a taxi and get me home more than once. The place is cheap too. A huge pitcher of beer will keep you drinking most of the night and costs less than 20,000 won.
Directions: Take a taxi or walk to Prince Hotel in Yeonsudong. Head straight past the park, going north east-ish. Just past the 7/11 is a blue sign with a pedophile mustache–the logo for Victor’s.
WaBar is also in Yeonsudong and another Western-style bar. The bar is never busy and definitely not the happenin’ place to be. However it’s a good place for the nights you don’t feel like soju and just want to chat with a couple friends. They serve lovely beers from around the world including Samuel Adams, just to make my beer snob soul miss home. They also pour a few decent cocktails including Long Islands, Lemon Drops and White Russians. Drinks will run you about 7,000 won a cocktail or beer.
Directions: If you live in Chungju and can’t find WaBar, I can’t help you. Seriously? Just ask a taxi driver for, “Waba.” They’ll take you straight to the front door.
Due to the recent closing of Zizzix and Second Floor, there are probably a couple other bars where the waygookins gather. I just haven’t found them yet.
It seems every group of foreigners who’ve become close friends (or are a couple) find their own special hangout. For example Linda and I love to drink at Story in Yeonsudong, but I’ve never seen foreigners who aren’t with us at the bar. I know other people who like Cool Luck near Hill State. I’ve even seen foreigners kickin’ it at Kiss.
If you are looking for a foreigner bar in Chungju, find a bar you like invite a few of your waygook friends and make it your foreigner bar–at least for the night.