Friday, May 20, 2011

Inside Alice

The rabbit finds coupons to the best places. Tonight, we met-up in Hyehwa after a particularly long work week and checked out a couple of new spots: an Indian restaurant which I've promptly forgotten the name of (oops), and a place called "Alice", which I'm going to refer to as a "room cafe" because I may have forgotten the actual term for this kind of place.

Seoul has a lot of intriguing venues for people looking for private small group entertainment. The place is famous for "bangs" (rooms) that provide for all manner of interests - singing and PC gaming being the most popular.

Alice is a different thing. Not just PC games, but console systems such as X-Box and PS3 are wildly popular here in Korea as well. As a result, gaming halls where you can pay by the hour to have access to a home gaming system and games without having to shell-out hundreds of dollars for ownership of the thing.

I've never been to a gaming hall, but I'm imagining that it would be full-to-overflowing with a potent combination of smokers and/or delinquent middle/high school students. Both, things I try my best to avoid on weekends.

Enter, Alice - an aforementioned "room cafe", where you can pay 7,000 won per person for a two hour stint in a cozy room with access to a flat screen TV, a computer with internet, a DVD player, and a Nintendo Wii.

There is also a kitchen area with free popcorn, coffee, and juice. This is clearly for the squares among us, but who am I to complain? I'm traveling with the rabbit for the love of Pete! What's more wholesome than grabbing two cups of juice, a plate of cookies and sitting down to play some wii tennis before trying to work-off the cookies effects through use of the wii Fit?

I'm utterly charmed by this place. In fact, I found myself thinking that mom and dad would have gotten a kick out of it as well had we happened upon Alice during their visit to Seoul. How cool it is that in Hyehwa, one of the more young-adult oriented areas of Seoul, you can find enough cardigan sweater wearing couples and groups of friends who skip the neon and cheap soju and instead opt for the cozy confines of Alice? And who doesn't want a private room in which to simulate jogging, boxing, or tennis on a Friday night?

If you are intrigued, Alice is located not far from exit 4 of Hywhwa Station. Just head toward the CGV and look on the third floor above the Artbox. It's a blue sign. And don't worry about your safety because should things get out of control with all of the juice and cookie consumption, there is this handy and accurately drawn escape route map for each individually curtained-off room. Alice doesn't want any unnecessary tragedy on her watch.


Anonymous said...

Any reason for the name "Alice"? Perhaps it's an allusion to Alice in Wonderland. I think these little sanctuaries in big cities are really cool.

George Bailey Sees The World! said...

I thought there might be more "Through the Rabbit Hole" theme going on - but no such luck.