After searching for years (a decade of which was legal) I have found it, the best bar in the world. You’re welcome. Jazz Story is located in the intimate but energetic Daehakro District of Seoul. Founded in 1991, it moved to its current home in 2008, and the eclectic bar/lounge/jazz club grabs you from the moment you walk through the door.
The walls are lined with rebar shelves filled with old records (originals from the owners collection). The seating is a mix of old airplane seats and bucket chairs that surround everything from bathtubs covered in glass to traditional table tops. If a hipster coffee shop married a construction demo site, this place would be their first-born.
The lounge atmosphere is relaxed and cozy and the lay-out prevents it from becoming so crowded that you can’t enjoy it. But the soul of the bar is without question, the house band. They are quite simply delightful. Seoul-ful voices that capture the emotion of the songs they perform. The harmonies are well blended and the musicians complement the vocal stylings perfectly.
While the bar is called Jazz Story, I wouldn’t categorize them as simply a jazz band. I heard everything from Joan Jett to Stevie Wonder to Otis Redding. (And the lead female singers are these adorable Korean women with soccer mom haircuts and Talbots outfits. Precious.) I even bought a CD, which made it feel like 2003, I mean I can’t remember the last time I purchased an album anywhere but iTunes.
Make your way to Daehkro, and grab some gogigui or shabu-shabu before heading over… the band goes on at 8:30. A trip to Seoul without a visit to Jazz Story is, quite simply, incomplete.
“It’s always half-past eight at Jazz Story, and that’s exactly the way you want it to be: You have the whole blessed evening ahead to enjoy the music, the conversation, and the eclectic decor.”
Korean Times Weekender