A Cafe/Bar That Caters To the Young And Trendy

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A Cafe/Bar That Caters To the Young And Trendy

Chongdam-dong is just a hop, skip and jump away from the popular department stores in Apkujong and from the fashionable boutiques, cafes, bars and restaurants that have recently been spruced up to better suit the tastes of the young and trendy who live in the neighborhood.

Cooba, a comfortable cafe by day and a cigar lounge and bar by night, is hoping to establish itself as a permanent fixture on these trendy yuppies' maps of cool destinations. And like many other places to hang out, it is just steps away from Apkujong-dong's main avenue, Rodeo Drive, and within walking distance of the Cine House located in Shinsa-dong.

Cooba is owned by Kim Jung-suk, an experienced hotelier and restaurateur, who says with pride that his cafe-bar is dedicated to good service. His personally selected wine list is comparable to the ones found at Seoul's five-star hotels.

The wine selection ranges from Cha-teau Lafite-Rothschild Pauillac 1990 and 1996 to Chateau Talbot Saint-Julien 1997 to Lynch Bages Pauilliac 1997. For nondiscerning wine lovers, he recommends the more affordable Italian Gavidoc '98 and California the 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Benziger from California.

Cooba also serves assorted floral teas imported from China and fresh juices that include pine needle and jujube flavors. Cooba's humidor is mostly filled with Dominican cigars marketed under the brand name Davidoff. Two kinds of cigars are available, Tubos Corona for 18,000 won ($16) and Special Torped (20,000 won).

Mr. Kim said he enjoys socializing with his stylish customers who work in the fashion and finance fields and who know how to have a good time. Photographers working in the nearby studios find Cooba a suitable venue for their exhibitions.

"You just missed the Davidoff party," Mr. Kim was quick to add with a grin. "The place was flooded with celebrities and reporters!"

Cooba is at 3-21 Chongdam-dong and opens at 11 a.m. The bar is open from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Valet parking is available. 02-547-7141.

by Ines Cho

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