The story of the Jukjeon café street started with rumors. I had returned from GEPIK (Gyeonggi English Program in Korea) orientation in the middle of April 2010 with a few hundred other foreign teachers, and about a dozen or more of us were left in Jukjeon station, as that was a central transit point for all of us. We were all wondering what to do… whether to hang out for a while or just go home after a busy few days. One guy had a great idea. He had heard about or past by a tiny neighborhood with many cafés not very far from the station, somewhere to the south. It was a really nice place, and everybody would like it! But somehow, the group didn’t agree, and we all went our separate ways. But I remembered that rumor, and soon it would become a pleasant and repeating reality.
A few days ago brought a period of heavy rains to the Seattle area. So I tried to think, what would be my favorite café to go to on a rainy day? Interestingly, it wasn’t one in Seattle or Seoul. I thought back to my days about a decade ago in Washington DC, when I lived in Arlington, just across the river from the capitol city. Not too far
inland, er, into Virginia, two metro stops over the Potomac River on the Orange line, was a neighborhood called Courthouse. Yeah, not the most inspiring name, but it had its charms. Including an awesome independent café right at the border between the commercial and the residential areas of the Courthouse neighborhood. This café was The Java Shack.
So here’s an anomaly. A place that I went to only once, that I barely remember, and is now closed. But hey, its memory can live on through this blog, right? And some day the ex-owners might do a Google search instead of a Naver search and be surprised upon finding my blog posting about their old shop. Or maybe I’ll find a way to get onto Naver searches so more Koreans will find CaféSeaSeo. Hmmm ~
Anyway, this café was called 13oz. It was on the periphery of the Jukjeon café street. While the streets of the central café street area are traversed 95% of the time by pedestrians, this café faced the heavily trafficked Jukjeon-ro. It had snowed that day in Cheongdeok, so I was hope to see a snowy café street, but unfortunately it wasn’t as snowy there. Still, I was in the mood for coffee, so I stepped inside 13oz before meeting a friend for dinner.
The next place I’ll review is another place that, like The Coffee Bean, has lots of locations, and therefore visibility, but somehow is just part of the landscape and doesn’t get praised or criticized much. But I quickly became fond of it, I supposed partly because I went there with friends and even met new friends there during the first few times I went there. This place, another Korean chain, is Beansbins. (also stylized as Beans Bins, BeansBins, BEANS BINS, or BEANSBINS).