Getting there was like traveling through several dimensions–but it was so worth it!

Our Japanese-language reporter Go Hatori recently embarked on a trip to Korea, and when researching things to do in Seoul, he heard from an old friend about an unusual Starbucks called the “Starbucks Coffee Gyeondong 1960 Branch”, which has become a hit attraction in the city. He later learned that it was even featured in one of his guidebooks and that it was brand new, having just opened in October 2022.

Apparently, the cafe is actually in an old renovated theater originally built in the 1960s. This was sufficient enough to attract Go’s attention, so when he arrived in Korea he made it his mission to get there.

…At least, if he could find it. He input the name of the cafe into Google Maps, but the directions led him here, to an ordinary street market…

Where there appeared to be no Starbucks to be found.

A further check of Google Maps indicated that Go had arrived at Gyeongdong Market, which was described as a long-standing market where food and herbs are sold. That seemed to check out.

So where is the Starbucks…?

There! A tiny Starbucks sign hanging inconspicuously in front of a stairwell!

Go climbed the stairs…

Found a supermarket…

Passed it by and turned a corner…

And came upon some stylish-looking stairs. He then climbed those stairs…

And there it was!

Or…was it?

Oh!! This looked familiar from the guidebook.

He went up the last set of stairs, and then…

“What the heck?!”

The wall was moving!!

This was some kind of bizarre otherworld. There were arcade games…

…and a whole other floor of shops, decorated with trees and plants.

It was completely different from the market below.

And that’s where he finally found the entrance to Starbucks Coffee Gyeondong 1960.

▼ Watch Go’s journey to get there in the super-speed video below.

Excited, Go went right inside.


“This place is insane!”

He’d somehow entered yet another dimension.

It was such a cool space!

Immediately, it jumped to the top of the list of the best Starbucks Go had ever visited. There could be no other that would compare.

The space was huge, with over 200 seats, so Go had to guess that it could never be full.

And he was right! He spent two luxurious hours hanging out there, and during that time he watched people come and go, and there was always a seat for everyone.

But of course, what really impressed him the most was that it was just such an unbelievable space. He would never have imagined it to be in the middle of an ordinary street market. It was almost as hidden as the Kyoto Ninenzaka branch–or maybe more so, since it wasn’t hiding in plain sight. Plus, it was absolutely enormous! It was like a place out of his dreams.

Apparently, this Starbucks also sells Starbucks products you can only find in Korea, and you know how we love our Starbucks goods! If you’re a Starbucks merchandise collector, or simply someone who loves to check out unusual places, definitely pay a visit to the Starbucks Coffee Gyeondong 1960 branch if you find yourself visiting Seoul.

Cafe information
Starbucks Coffee Gyeondong 1960 / STARBUCKS COFFEE 京東1960
Floors 3-4 at 1036 Jegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
서울특별시 동대문구 제기동 1036, 3~4F
Open every day from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Images © SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]