shot. shot. shot. shot. shot.
guess which drink sly ordered
for once in my life this wasn’t me.
This past Friday it felt like Spring. Tiny blossoms appeared overnight on once-naked tree limbs. We wore short sleeves and ate dinner outside and when the night breeze blew, it carried with it the warmth of summer.
After dinner we jumped in a cab and headed downtown to Ggot Bat – a hookah lounge. How had we never noticed this bar before? We walked up the candle-lit stairs, removed our shoes, and were ushered into a private yurt-shaped room blanketed with Asian rugs and satin-y floor pillows. Incense burned freely. Candles flickered in the darkness. We ordered pina coladas and apple shisha and took turns passing the pipe and blowing smoke in the most over-the-top way possible.
Then it was on to Hot Gossip, a new-ish, trendy-ish lounge/bar/dance club. Our friend told us that last time she went she was denied entrance on account of her not being young or trendy enough. No problems this time around though. Maybe it was just that it was still somewhat early? We ordered bottle service and proceeded to get drunk. Who decided vodka shots were a good a idea?
One of our friends wanted to go to a cafe to sober up a bit but the other had other ideas. “I’m still thirsty!” she said, and dragged us into Kiki’s, the bar next door. Sly ordered a few drinks: adult Capri Suns. Booze in a bag. I took a sip and holy crap was it strong. Then the bartender came to our table and gave us free shots — something neon green that tasted like melon mouthwash. We drank them as a courtesy but by this point, I was on the verge of losing it. My tolerance had not been tested at this capacity for a long while and it was just starting to hit me hard.
Luckily for us, there was a cab waiting right outside the bar. The moment Mrs. C climbed inside she crumpled into a heap, opened the window, and clung onto to the side for dear life. We knew this was going to be a long ride home. Poor Mrs. C — up until then she had been the total life of the party, encouraging us to drink more and take shots. “It tastes so sweet,” she said, after downing a glass of straight vodka. Even among our friends who are much younger than Mrs. C, it’s hard to get them to go out to drink with all the obligations of life and family. A part of me wishes we had moved to Korea when we were (much) younger because the nightlife here is so awesome; so fun. But Mrs. C showed us that a night on the town, drinking shots, trying to get into dance clubs, could still be done — husband, kids, life and all. Total hero mode.
Ggot Bat 꽃밭 – Flower Garden Bar // 51-5 Samdeokdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Daegu // Very chill, dimly lit (mostly by candles) bar and hookah lounge. From street level, go up the candle-lit steps, remove your shoes and wait to be seated. There are two levels to the bar and various styles of private seating. We were seated in a yurt-like private room close to the entrance which was awesome. Mixed drinks are about $7, hookah is $10. Small plates also available. Maybe we are old hippies but we really loved this place! The candle-lit dimness combined with the combination of incense, lanterns, rugs, silk pillows made for a very chill and dreamy atmosphere. It’s a great place to go as a couple or with a group of friends who feel like going out but not having to deal with the typical bar scene. It’s also nice if you want to go to a lounge-y type place without bottle service. DIRECTIONS: Ggot Bat is right in the heart of all the streets with bars in downtown Daegu and on the same street as Bus Bar, Club EGG. It is toward the East end of the street. The signage is not apparently evident from the street — look for a lit sign showing floating candle-lit lotus flowers and then you should see a set of candle-lit stairs leading up to the second level.
Hot Gossip – 핫가쉽 // 62 Gongpyeong-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu // This is one of the newer, trendier places in town. The main lounge area is two levels high with something called a “dining pub” (?) on the second level. Larger booths can be reserved. Outside and up the stairs to the right of the building is a dance club owned by the same people called Second Hotel. There aren’t many sit-down lounge bars in downtown Daegu like this on this scale. Set back from the street and glowing pink from the inside, it’s hard to miss. Unlike Seoul, drinks here are much more reasonably priced — about $10-15 average for a large mixed drink or about $100-$150 for a bottle of vodka which seems pretty stiff at first but if you have a group of people and plan on drinking more than a drink each, it totally makes sense to get bottle service. Typically bottle service comes with mixers and plates of snacks like fruit, nuts, etc. Our service only came with two carafes of juice. We ordered an additional carafe and were charged $5 extra. The only complimentary snacks we received was a bowl of what looked to be cheese puffs in the dark, but turned out to be more like fruit loops. Hot Gossip delivers on the architecture/interior, but otherwise it was just ok for me. DIRECTIONS: On “Club Street” on the street as the popular expat bar “Thursday Party.” Closet metro: Banwoldang, exit 10.
Kiki Beer & Cocktail // 58-19 Dongseong-ro 3-gil, Daegu // Small, brightly lit, minimally decorated, mostly expats, bag cocktail (think capri suns…with alcohol…lots of it) bar. The service here was super attentive and really warm and friendly making for a fun atmosphere. Personally I preferred this bar over Hot Gossip — but then I like laid back, no frills types of places. The (inexpensive) English menu has all kinds of awesomely named drinks that just beg to be tried. We ordered from the strong menu and wow. Strong was an understatement. In addition to the drinks, small metal canisters of cheese balls and pretzels were provided on the table. We were also given a frequent drinker card that you can get stamped for every bag drink bought. TIP: angel wings painted on the back wall make for a great photo op. DIRECTIONS: On “Club Street” near Thursday Party. If you are facing Hot Gossip, this small bar is directly to the right in front of Pan Asian restaurant.