I went downtown with a few friends on Saturday night. We decided to skip the normal clubs that are filled with westerners and check out some other places. As luck would have it, the first place ended up being a great spot. It even has a great name: Beer Bar.
Beer Bar is in the basement of a building on the outskirts of downtown Daegu. As soon as I hit the top of the stairs, I knew it was going to be an interesting place. There was a giant wooden statue of Elvis at the bottom of the stairway. The statue was covered in graffiti, mostly signatures of patrons and the occasional “_____ wuz here.”
The bar was busy, but not crowded. We were the only westerners in the bar when we arrived. Though one or two other westerners came and went while we were there, it was definitely a bar for the locals. Most of the people at the bar were middle-aged Korean guys. It was pretty quiet and very low-key, which was a welcome change for us.
In lieu small, there was one long table that ran down the center of the bar. It was a zig-zag shape with lots of right angles. Above the bar was more writing and graffiti. In fact, the entire bar was totally covered in writing. Most of it was in Korean, but there was the occasional English name or phrase.
In the front of the bar were four large coolers stocked with many different types of beer. With the exception of Hite and Maxx, all of the beers were imports. Everyone was excited to find Sam Adams, Stella, and Sapporo. There were bottle openers on the tables, and the waiters didn’t pay any attention to us, so I assumed that we got our own beers. Just to be sure, I asked one of them if we were expected to help ourselves. He said yes, so we went to work.
It wasn’t until after we finished that we found out we were supposed to ring a call button and order beers from waiters. One of these days, it’s going to sink in that “yes” has two meanings here. Some of the time, it means “yes.” But most of the time, it means “yes is the only word I know.”
When the time came to leave, we weren’t sure how to pay. They hadn’t kept tabs as we grabbed our own beers, so we were stumped. Eventually, we decided to carry all of our empties to the front and let them tally up our total that way. We looked like a bunch of jackasses, each carrying several empty beer cans to the front of the bar. Fortunately, the cashier didn’t seem to mind.
I am definitely heading back to Beer Bar soon. Maybe next time I’ll follow the rules.
Until next time.