Woodstock… A name that conjures up so many memories.
In Itaewon, Woodstock is a staple for live music, a occasional game of pool and a lot of character. Woodstock bar is like an old car that has survived multiple winter storms, dirty, beat up, but for some reason, you can’t just let go of her. As you walk into the dim light bar, your teeth being to illuminate white, any dandriff you might have twinkles on your black clothing and as you look around at the stapled one dollar bills on the wall, the space collage behind the pool table and a rickety, old small stage, your first instinct might be to walk out back into the bustling, and sometimes hostile streets of Itaewon. But before you turn your back on this hole in the wall, have a beer and let the retro days of Itaewon fill your soul.
How to get there: The easiest way to get to Woodstock is to take the subway to Itaewon Station (Line 6) and depart from Exit 2. You are going to walk about 100 – 200 meters. Woodstock bar is on the 3rd floor on your left. It is beside Hollywood’s Sports Bar and Grill. It is also above Up and Close… humm…
Why Should I Go?: I’m not really going to tell you that the food (is there any?) or the drinks are great. The beer is modestly priced and the mixed drinks will set you back anywhere from 5000KRW – 13000KRW. However, that is not the reason you should go. One of the reasons is that Woodstock is one of the few places to offer live music in Itaewon that is not a cover band. Have you grown weary of listening to Stairway to Heaven for the upteenth billionth time? Woodstock’s acts are original bands from the Seoul area, and play their own music. Also, if you are hankering for a game of pool while listening to the music, you can do that too.
Atmosphere: The atmosphere of Woodstock bar is what sets it apart from modern Itaewon drinking establishments. In an area that is constantly changing, Woodstock has remained a staple because of its comfortable and intimate atmosphere. It isn’t a big bar, prepared to get cozy, but the music that comes from the stage feels like a personal performance. Woodstock’s atmosphere is equivalent to your old stoner buddy’s basement back in high school, listening to various rock bands from the past, and present, pondering the great questions of life, and having a semi coma toast debate about the greatest guitarists of past and present generations, all while passing around our medicine. It’s a real North American, suburbia experience.
Who Should go to Woodstock Bar: People who are heading to Itaewon and want a taste of Itaewon past. Also, people looking for some live, original entertainment.
Who Should Avoid Woodstock Bar: Not exactly a place I would take someone for a quiet conversation with music playing in the background. This place can get loud.
Music: I’ll admit Woodstock is not a place I would frequent. That said, I found it a refreshing experience. My friend Spencer Glenn happened to be playing that night. it was his last show in Seoul, as he is heading back to the US at the end of November. However, you will still be playing, and is a very talented musician. Check out his Facebook page.