Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Terrace Trouble

I guess things were just going too well for us at Liquor Burger. The crowds have been nice in size and personality. Business has been going well. Besides me being tired, everything has just worked out for us so far.

But as of Monday, that all changed. On that day, some government workers from the district office came by to tell us they've gotten complaints that our patio is too loud. They didn't give any empirical evidence or dates or times. There's no data or facts. They just got some complaints.

So they told us we couldn't use the patio for seven days. SEVEN DAYS because of a couple complaints of noise?

Well, Jeong Mi and I went to the office Tuesday to discuss the issue. They claim our lease only covers what's inside, so we have no actual rights to the outside, despite being told otherwise by our landlord.

We also found out that there is ONE person who is complaining. ONE PERSON!!!

I'll be the first to admit that people can be loud when they're drinking. But our friends and customers have NOT been. The patio isn't seen as a place to party. People out there eat dinner, have a couple drinks and have nice conversations. We don't even have speakers out there.

There are bars, drunk Koreans, gaming rooms and students coming out of academies late at night that are way louder than we are. There are other bars and convenience stores in the area that have outdoor seating that are louder than we are. Yet it is Liquor Burger that is now facing off on a noise complaint.

Now, they told us people can be out on the patio for short amounts of time. They said the patio could be used for smoking, or getting fresh air, but there can be no food and drinks out there.

The problem is not that we are clearly being singles out (though that is frustrating), it's that I can't believe one person saying we're loud is enough to take action. There was never any check of any kind. There's no decibel meter reading or drop-ins by officials to monitor noise. One person says we're loud and that's that.

We're not done with this fight yet. We put money into the patio to make it look nice and we promote it as a big part of the comfort of our bar. People really enjoy relaxing out there.

Our next step is to go greet all the people in the apartments by us and ask if there are any problems. I also will request that if there is a problem, they call us directly and not whine like little dirty-diapered babies to the district office.

The office employees said as long as there are no complaints, there's no problem. But when I already know our friends and customers aren't being loud, what are the chances the person won't complain of a noise problem again?

Keep checking back for updates. If you're friends and family back in America, I wish you could be here to hang out. If you're living in South Korea, stop by Liquor Burger sometime for some food and drinks. We've expanded our menu to include the sliders, tacos Johnsonville cheese-filled hot dogs and a Frankenwich that combines all three.

Check us out at!

See a bunch of great pics here!

Three Day Weekend

We get Monday off, as it is a Korean national holiday. I've been here for three years now, but haven't really taken the time to understand all the holidays. I just know the major ones, and happily accept my days off for smaller ones.

Monday is National Foundation Day, which celebrates the founding of Gojoseon -- the first state of the Korean nation -- in 2333 BC.

Here's a Wikipedia page that list all the major national holidays with a brief description of each. If you're an old vet here, you might know them all. But if you're a rookie, or are just interested, learn something new!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Liquor Burger So Far So Good

Liquor Burger has been a resounding success so far. We're only 6 days in, but the response from the foreigner crowd in Yeonsudong has been really encouraging.

Like I've been saying, there just isn't a bad with this atmosphere in Yeonsudong. We're just filling in a void, and it's been met with good results so far.

I'm under no illusion that things will be bumping every night. And we understand that when there's nice weather on a weekend, a lot of people will go to Bucheon, Bupyeong or Seoul. But we can offer a great neighborhood bar during the week. And if people are around on the weekends, we hope they come here!

We're having our grand opening on Friday and our first beer pong tournament on Saturday. We're still looking for bands and dart players for our league.

I have to go back to work tomorrow, so Popper's girlfriend, Jong will be our part-time worker from Sunday through Thursday nights. I wish I could be here full time already.

Our customers have been friendly and fun, and I really think they feel a connection here. I certainly feel a bond to them thus far.

So it's back to Hambak for me tomorrow, and our big party begins on Friday. Here's to Liquor Burger!

Check out our pics!