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The Brown List: The Gr8est Hookah in Town

February 4, 2010

As far as staple nightlife goes, I take a good hookah bar to be only just behind a good cheap drinking joint and a fun club to flail around in after being at the good cheap drinking joint for a while. Many who have been here for a significant period of time are likely to have scouted out their favorite bars and clubs already, or at least seen a few here and there. Hookah bars are quite a bit more of a specialty though.

While the title of my post is partly in jest, Gr8 is an excellent place to go when you get that sudden, random urge to inhale apple-banana flavored smoke at 9 PM on a Friday night. And you can do considerably more than this. Not only do they have your standard array of fruit and mint flavored shisha along with the amped up flavors like double or (*gasp*) triple apple and compound flavors like cherrango (cherry mango) or strapple (strawberry apple), but Gr8 also has somewhat more exotic flavors that we originally mistook for a very limited liquor list: Jack and Coke, Champagne, Strawberry Daiquiri, and so on. Had these flavors actually come with inhaleable alcohol this would have been a sweet deal, especially because the beverages are not exactly cheap (4,000+ domestic, 6,000 Hoegarten, 7,000+ for other imported beers).

As well as being a hot spot for hookah, Gr8 is an all-around sexy joint. The lighting in the place is a smooth, dim yellow that illuminates from inside small craters along the walls with matching animal skin patterning on the plush seat cushions in larger-crater-like seating areas. The music in the restaurant is stylish lounge-house, neither obtrusive nor unenjoyable, and spices up any night out with an added layer of class.

Atmosphere: 5/5. Classy, cool, creative.

Music: 5/5

Service: 3.5/5. The serving staff can be snotty or invasive at times. One waiter has an obnoxiously loud voice.

Hookah: 4.5/5. Great selection at a reasonable price (10,000 W); my only compliant is that it may not be enough for more than 3 people, and they refuse to give you a second hose even though there are two spouts.

Drink prices and selection: 4/5. Enough types of beer, though the imported ones are all (as usual) overpriced. Domestic beers include Cass and Cafri. Seemed to have a good liquor selection as well.

Food: I’ve never eaten here but my friend has — food is said to be decent though expensive — as with any bar, don’t expect anything less than 12,000.

Directions: From Sangsu Station (line 6, one stop east of Hapjeong) leave exit 1 and turn around so you will see a Paris Baguette. Turn left down that street and follow it for about 3-4 blocks, until you see a 7-11 on your left. Turn left down the street just before the 7-11. There should be a fork in the road — bear right. Less than a minute’s walk down this road and Gr8 will appear on your right — just look for the sign.

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