A vision in pink ― lots of pink: This cafe is a Barbie lover’s dreamTired of going to the same old cafe? Then head to Barbie Cafe near Ewha Womans University.
Jung Mi-ran, the owner of Barbie Cafe, has been collecting Barbie dolls since she was in high school in the early 1990s. Her collection has continued to grow since then and, needing someplace to display her 500 or so dolls, she decided to open the cafe in late 1999.
According to Ms. Jung, each Barbie has its own face, with different makeup and clothes. She says the dolls in her collection, many of them collector’s editions, are worth anywhere from 100,000 won ($85) to several million won.
The Barbies in the cafe display fashions dating from the ’60s to now. Some, like the Audrey Hepburn Barbie, were modeled on Hollywood stars; others came outfitted in designer fashions by the likes of Givenchy and Anne Klein.
So, if she had to choose, which one of her dolls would she call her favorite? “Actually, I have two favorites,” Ms. Jung says. “Both are made by the designer Nolan Miller.”
Ms. Jung’s mini Barbie museum was an instant hit with fellow Barbie enthusiasts. Others who are just curious frequently drop in as well. After 6 p.m., tables are hard to come by. Coffee, tea and other beverages cost from 2,500 won; meals are available from 4,500 won. Customers can also log onto the Internet for free. None of the dolls are for sale, but other products, like Barbie clocks, mugs, stationery and ornaments, are.
Ms. Jung says her only complaint is that some customers take photos of the dolls without asking and spread them on the Internet without giving the cafe credit. But that has not dampened her enthusiasm for collecting Barbies and running her cafe. Check out the cafe’s Web site, www.barbiecafe.co.kr.
Location: On the way down to Sinchon Rail Station from Ewha Womans University.
Hours: Noon to 10:30 p.m.
Telephhone: (02) 313-9843
by Park Yun-ji