BUSAN, South Korea – If you’re missing the atmosphere of a truly western-style cocktail lounge, 247 Lounge, located in the heart of Haeundae’s bar and restaurant district is the scene for you. You won’t be out of place in a suit or that little black dress, but casual hip is fine for parties any day of the week at this “luxury lounge”.
As soon as I entered I felt I had been transported to Miami Beach, the Upper East Side of Manhattan, or perhaps Dupont Circle, DC where cocktail lounges are all the rage. The white leather semi-circle sofas arranged like cabanas contrast with the dark tables and walls giving a modern lounge feel unlike any bar in the city. It’s clear from the décor and flow of movement in the room that the interior designer has traveled extensively and experienced the latest trends in creating a chic inclusive environment for mixing it up, chillaxing at the bar or dancing.
The first thing I noticed was they have got to have one of the longest bar in town with dozens of comfortable bar stools and 18 (yes, that is eighteen) TVs showing music videos, sports, movies. There is a proper DJ booth and raised dance floor with a view of the the street below through massive windows which along with the high ceilings keep this dimly lit space feeling open and warm. As a musician I immediately observed that the owners have invested a lot into their pro audio gear to make a great room even better because sound quality matters if you’re there for the music. DJ Lie spins electronica nightly and DJ Ssa-Ssa turns it up on weekends.
A good sign for any new establishment is that they’ve kept several of the original bar staff since opening a year ago in October. The service is fast and the bartenders, who are also enrolled in university or doing some modeling (yes, I said modeling), are trained to make a wide range of drinks. It doesn’t hurt that they are attractive and outgoing and seem to really welcome expats. In fact, expats are offered drink specials before 10pm every night and the last Saturday of every month the deals are even better. It’s all part of their plan to attract an international clientele.
While it’s not a dinner spot per se, there are quite a few food options that go beyond the normal bar fare. Appetizers and dishes ranging from 10,000~30,000 come in generous portions that can be easily shared. Cheese plates, lobster and oysters with rice, and various vegetarian options stand out in addition to other popular items like quesadillas, cutlets, fruit plates, and ham & cheese sandwiches. Get there before 10pm for the best selection of food.
For bigger sporting events there is a projector TV that casts its light on a huge pull down screen so you can’t miss any part of the action during a match. Of course soccer is a favorite and especially the Olympics and World Cup games. If there’s an event you want to see on the big screen just let them know. But, if video isn’t your thing there is also a dart board and pocket ball in the back of the room for those who forgot their dancing shoes.
The lounge can accommodate larger private events of around 150 guests or can provide space for smaller parties any night if they are given notice. They promise reduced rates for drinks and food for groups planning to host a party. Recently they have started an online forum for regular parties so you can see who’s planning to be there and find out about specials for that night. These mixers draw from all over Gyeongnam and Busan.
Oh, did I mention they are open until 4am? Whether you’re looking to get down with the locals or just attend a party with style your nights at 247 Lounge are sure to be Loungey.
247 Lounge Bar
Getting there: Across from Novotel, about 20 meters from U2, there is a one-way street that ends at the main beach road. Walk against traffic about 30 meters and 247 Lounge will be on your left side on the 2nd floor. There is a massive sign you can't miss
And they even have the cheezy lounge preview video. Nice-uh