Hard Rock death goes unmourned on the club scene

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Hard Rock death goes unmourned on the club scene

Now the monumental signage of Korea’s only Hard Rock Cafe has been torn down, it’s time for Seoul’s own style mavens to reclaim the space. In Cheongdam-dong where cutting-edge trends are always sharp, the hamburger joint that was born in London in the ’80s, never really took off with stylish clients arriving in Mercedes convertibles.
Tonight, the former Hard Rock Cafe will be reborn as Club Circle. Gone are the Elvis and Elton John memorabilia; instead there is a space-age bar and dance floors ready to rock, literally, with Christmas commotion.
Some 1,500 invitation-only guests who turned up at the pre-opening bash last weekend were impressed with the brand-new state-of-the-art club. Between the front door and the main hall is a black hallway criss-crossed with green laser beams, which prompted visitors to move as if impersonating Catherine Zeta-Jones in her 1999 movie “Entrapment.” Sprawling over the 1,200 square meter hall are two moving stages, a circular bar with flatscreens and three private rooms.
Club Circle’s audiovisual director/promoter/DJ Frankie Shin says the club will have DJs and live performers (read: gogo boys and showgirls) every night, all year around.
For tonight’s grand opening party two Asia-based DJs ― IBI from Osaka and Antwone from Hong Kong ― are flying in. Accompanying IBI will be an entourage of gogo boys and drag queens, Japanese-style. And tomorrow night, Roy Davis Jr. from the Chicago house music scene is spinning, after a second session from DJ IBI. For all Club Circle events, Frankie Shin demands revelers show up in their most “sophisticated & chic” outfits, to match the club’s super high-tech interior. Until the year-end, admission is 10,000 won ($11) and includes a free drink. For inquiries, go to the Web site, www.thecircle.co.kr.
Before or after Roy Davis Jr., party hoppers can check out Club Cage in Itaewon for a string of local DJs ― DJ Ditto, Beejay, Ziro and more ― plus Santa’s girls. Club Cage’s Christmas Eve party is from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. the next day. Admission is 15,000 won. Presale tickets at 10,000 won are available at www.partyluv.com. For inquiries, visit the Web site, www.clubcage.co.kr.
On Christmas Eve, Seoul’s best-known party planner, Miggi Chi of Sway Production, hosts a chic party titled “Rock Me Amadeus” with fashion models and Adonis, a group of gogo boys based in Seoul. Club Circle’s resident DJ Frankie Shin will be joined by DJ Jinwook and Fhifan, who spin at all the best parties in Seoul. There is also charity raffles and a lot of prizes. Doors open at 8 p.m. and admission is 40,000 won, which includes one free drink. Dress code is “glam rock, punk and black chic.” For information contact Sway Production at (02) 544-3476.
On Sunday night, Club Via near Hongik University, in northwest Seoul, hosts a funky dance party ― “Breakbeat Massive” ― where DJs like Mr. Fudge, Shortfiction, Unkle and Kuma will make you groove. Admission is 15,000 won, which includes one drink. For more information, visit the Web site, www.club.cyword.com/via-club.
If your party theme for Christmas is closer to “Silent Night,” then head out to the W Seoul Hotel in eastern Seoul. For two nights tomorrow and Sunday, the hotel’s swank WooBar presents a toned-down concert. Tomorrow night couples get a romantic piano performance and a cappella singers. Admission is 50,000 won including one free drink. On Sunday evening, the Christmas theme turns hot ― “summer-time reggae,” featuring live reggae bands, Windy City, aka Asoto Union, Koonta & Nuoliunce, the b-boy band, Rivers Crew and more. Admission is 60,000 won including one free drink. For reservations, call (02) 465-2222.

by Ines Cho
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