A new bar that’s only a bit of a hoot(ers)It’s funny. While doing research for this article I visited hooters.com, the Web site for the U.S. restaurant chain famous for its busty, scantily clad Hooters girls. It was the first time I’d been to that site, by the way.
Anyway, for no apparent reason, the homepage displays this motto: “If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you ever tried.”
Good advice, as it happens, but words that seem to have never reached the owner of a Hooters-like bar, Better Than Beer, that opened in Itaewon this week.
Better Than Beer is at the east end of the main drag, next to the International Health Clinic and across from the Rocky Mountain Tavern. More precisely, it’s in the big building that used to house the beef-and-beer joint OB Stadium, which went under recently.
Before that, the building was home to an unpopular nightclub with an in-your-face Egyptian theme.
The thing is, if you go to Better Than Beer now, you’ll see evidence of those failures all around.
Mainly you’ll see reliefs and murals all over the walls of ancient Egyptian figures and hieroglyphics. Also, you’ll see a really big bust of King Tut. It’s perched atop some speakers stacked on a now superfluous dance floor. And above the dance floor is what has to be the most expensive unused lighting system in the country.
As for the floor layout, it’s unchanged from OB Stadium. Evidently, the makeover the place got to become Better Than Beer, apart from the advent of eye-candy waitresses, consisted of adding ugly new tablecloths.
Hey, hold on a minute. I’ve just realized that I’m in the middle of a negative rant about a Hooters-equivalent bar in my own neighborhood. What the heck am I doing?
Ahem. Upon deeper reflection, I have to say that Better Than Beer has a lot going for it. The draft beer, for instance.
It’s cheap. Half-liter mugs of it are only 2,500 won ($2.50), and you can also get pitchers. And, best of all, it’s brought to your table by a smiling young thing in a miniskirt and halter top.
There’s also a big food menu, and if you order something, especially a steamy dish, the waitresses will bring it out with whoops and hollers. And yes, you can get chicken wings, but at 12,500 won for 10, they’re a tad pricey.
Also, the waitresses at Better Than Beer are in fact delightful. So delightful you may not be able to stand it.
By the way, I asked mine what the bar’s name meant, and she said it just means that the service is great. I agreed.
But it only opened last weekend, so how long that will last is anyone’s guess.
So, to sum up a tacky review of a tacky new bar with a tacky joke: If you go to Better Than Beer, you’ll definitely see some terrific bodies. But the best bust there will be King Tut’s.
by Mike Ferrin