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Ice bar? Cool!

January 13, 2010

Cornyyy. OK, so why would I be going to an ice bar when the weather outside in Seoul is currently -18 C, you ask? Fair enough. Let’s just say this post is a teensy bit late.

We found this ice bar after searching through the labyrinthine streets of Sinchon, guided by someone who seemed to know where they were going so well, and was so cool-headed and direct about it, that I half-felt I was being led blindfolded by drug smugglers to a very specific rendezvous point where I would subsequently be shot after being told to dig my own grave. I have an overactive imagination.

The ice bar was located at the bottom of a parking garage, and there was a very nondescript, though large, advertisement painted on the wall of the garage to indicate the ice bar’s presence. Underneath pictures of people snowboarding, drinking ice tea and, inexplicably, riding horses on the Australian outback, there featured a reassuring promotional blurb by Reuters: “The only ice bar in Korea.” If that doesn’t make up your mind, I don’t know what will.

I expected that the ice bar would be full of posh late twenty-somethings dressed in long, slender dresses and suits and look mostly like a Tanqueray commercial, and as soon as we walked in Tony Sinclair would make some unwitty comment about gin which we would forgive because of his flamboyant British accent. Huge bouncers would check us at the door and forbid any of the unfabulous ones from entering, and strobe lights would pulse against the reflective ice as we trance danced with our gin martinis in hand.

But when we entered there was not a single soul in sight aside from the host, and after he exchanged out 15,000 won ($14) for large furry parkas with somewhat apologetic look in his eye, he directed us to what looked like a door to a walk in freezer. We entered into an deserted room, full of walls of ice, fans whirring, and ice sculptures that made the place look more like a bachelor pad of an impoverished hipster from the ice age than a proper bar.

We had our fun, though — the giant parkas and the cheesy electronic music made for some funny hopping and swinging dancing, since we looked like giant furry triangles when we extended our arms above our waist. And the sculptures were entertaining enough. Without further ado, pictures:

One Comment
  1. Joe permalink
    January 18, 2010 9:27 pm

    I think the bar is actually in Hongdae, not Sinchon. It is just past the park.
    I’ve been there. It is nice, although sometimes you might get a dirty jacket, and the bottles of urine on display can be unsettling. Otherwise the cocktails are great!

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