SeoulGrid’s definition of a lounge: a venue that serves alcoholic beverages that has music in the background. DJ booth is a plus. The difference between a bar and a lounge is that bars tend to be more crowded or loud with people talking. Lounge is where there is plenty of space for everyone and where you can go for a nice drink or two. You wouldn’t typically go to a lounge to get wasted, unless you have cash to burn.
Bars, you’d take your college buddies out for drinks of Irish car bombs or Jaggermeister shots for a casual night of fun. Lounge, you’d take your date; extra dry gin martini for yourself and mojito for your date. Sure, a glass of Cosmopolitan may cost twice or even thrice how much it would cost in casual bars, but once in a while, it’s an worthwhile investment.
Now what makes a lounge great? The differentiating factor between an awesome lounge and a lounge is that the former typically is larger in scale, serves better cocktails and of course, plays better music. Of course once in a while you run into a lounge that feature interior decor and ambiance so unique, modern and stylish that your jaws drop. There also are ones that are nice private lounges that isn’t open to everyone.
Below is top-pick list of the best lounges in Seoul. Of course, I am sure there are several others that I do not know of or haven’t had the chance to visit, but if I do, you can count on me to write about it in detail in future!
One of the latest additions of the club scene in Seoul, Ark Lounge is located one block from Lound lounge or S-Bar in Cheongdam area, right across from Apgujeong Rodeo. It is across from KooBar, if you are more familiar with the location of that venue.
Ark is a smaller private lounge club, which I guess is mainly used for private events. I have not seen them promote their venue in public, which I see as a mechanism to encourage only those familiar with the scene or the neighborhood of Cheongdam to know about the venue (and hopefully come regularly! That’s the most important part for any venue-owner).
I wrote in my previous article that smaller private clubs are emerging at a rapid rate. Maybe this will turn out to be a short-lived trend in a few months or years to come, but Ark lounge is a great example of what a private club should be; suitable for throwing a closed party, for guest numbers in between 50 to a 150. I can see the venue easily accommodating up to 200 guests, but anything more would jam the place.
Lound is amongst the new players in Cheongdam-dong area, known to be a destrict with luxurious upscale bars, restaurants and lounges. I rated mojitos from this place to be one of the better ones you can find in Seoul, and their other cocktails certainly do not disappoint.
I tried their Rose Lychee Martini which was a pleasant surprise. Their apple martini was also expectedly reasonable as well. Then again if you are paying 20,000 Won for a cocktail you wouldn’t expect it to be nothing short of brilliant.
So what does the place actually look like and where is it? What is with all the hype about Lound, which seems to be taking business away from S-bar, an establishment which stood the test of time for more than 10 years?
For the longest time I was on the mission to find the best mojitos in Seoul. All I wanted was a perfectly prepared glass of mojito with fresh mint leaves and lime. I’ve ordered mojitos in a dozen or so bars that are supposedly famous – some rather disappointing and some very pleasantly suprising.
Here are some bars and lounges I checked out that were rather decent (I won’t even mention all the crappy ones I’ve tasted in clubs and cheap bars).
What's up, SeoulGrid? Sorry about the delay in posting the club guide this week. My already crazy week unexpectedly got a bit crazier... [My plane crashed on this mysterious island, then we got attacked by this big black column of smoke, and... Ok, so I'm really irresponsible and I spent the past week catching up on "Lost" instead of writing this article -- look, I'm sorry, alright?!]Quick updates this week: The good, Club Heaven has free entry Friday night! The bad, Club Volume is still closed for renovations until further notice. The ugly, I'll be in Tokyo this weekend, so you all will have to party it up without me. Yeah, I know you'll miss me, but don't worry -- the East Sea won't stop me from giving you the lowdown, and there's lots of good stuff going on this weekend.Read on to find out what's up, and prepare yourselves for yet another weekend of the chaotic debauchery that is Seoul's club scene...
Club Naked shutting down has mixed things up a lot. I remember seeing a lot of these guys at Club Naked back in the day, and now I guess they have a bit of freedom to play at other parties as well.
These guys are really talented -- some of the shows they put on at Naked when it first opened were incredible. (I went to Naked much less frequently in the last months before it closed, so I'm not sure if they continued). Two of them would DJ simultaneously, often creating new music on the fly, blurring the boundary between a DJ set and a live performance.
This party is described as "House Mixset for Driving," so I'm not sure exactly what kind of style to expect, but it reminds me of my midnight drives up I-95 between my college and my hometown. So chug a Red Bull, crank the volume, push the pedal for the floor, and check your review mirror periodically for flashing red and blue lights!
Note that although Club Heaven also lists "Shut Da Mouth" as a guest DJ, I'm not listing because on last week's poster it read:
Anyway, actually guest DJing tonight are Clubber Langz from the UK and Ross Mackay from Ireland. Here's Clubber Langz playing at Elune in Busan with an MC:
Free entry: From what I gather, you can get in this show for free if you arrive before midnight and say "Clubber Langz" at the desk. So if you've been wanting to check out the club scene but don't feel like paying a W30,000 cover, here's your chance.
A friend of a friend just saw Kavinsky in Tokyo and said that the show was incredible. People are calling him the next generation of French Electro, following in the footsteps of Daft Punk and Justice. After listening to his stuff, I can say his style is definitely one-of-a-kind.
Think synth film scores from the '80s. Think SNES. Think Knight Rider meets Tron. [Speaking of SNES, did anyone here play Mega Man II? This game had one kickass soundtrack. Ok I'm a huge dork.] Anyway, If I wanted to sum up Kavinsky's style in a word, I would have to go with "Neo-Retro," if that makes any sense. So it's like he came from some strange alternate universe where the '80s was awesome.
Check out more of his music on Kavinsky's Myspace. If you like what you hear, then I'll see you Saturday!
This duo goes under the name "Masters at Work" or MAW. The video I posted is a bit more upbeat than a lot of their stuff, but it was the highest quality video I could find. For the most part their style seems to be a kind of funky, soulful minimal house with some Latin influence. Definitely an ineresting sound if it's your style.
What did you guys think of the new layout for this installment? Easier to navigate? Like it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments.Next week we should finally see Club Volume reopen permanently, a thus our weekend megaclubbing options will increase by, well, 33.33%. And with so many options, it can be confusing to decide where to party. But fear not, dear reader! That's what we're here for. So tune in again next week for the lowdown on what's happening in the Seoul club world. Party hard, SeoulGrid!JamesAttn: Promoters: Want to make sure your party gets included in a weekly update? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the information and flyer. We’ll check it out, and if it meets our standards we’ll include it. Thanks!&h=60&w=100&zc=1" alt=""/>