Expat Bars and Cover Bands

After spending Friday night aimlessly wandering around my neighborhood, trying to get a sense of what people do at night around here, I decided to venture out to a more happening part of the city on Saturday.  I have been wanting to catch some live music, and after some research, it looks like Hongdae and Itaewon are two of the main areas.   Earlier in the week I saw a facebook advertisement for a Harley Davidson Tribute Party at Stompers in Itaewon.  Several bands, bikers, all you can drink (beer on tap and well drinks) for 20,000 won (about $16).  So…Itaewon it is.

Itaewon is not known as a high class part of town.  Close to the US Military base, it has a reputation for being rowdy, and fun, late in to the night, until the sun comes up.  It’s a main area for all things foreign to Korea, whether that be restaurants or bars or shopping.  And not just American, but Canadian, Arab and Muslim…immigrants in general.  Itaewon is also known for being an active area for prostitution.  Stompers is at the top of “Hooker Hill”.  Do yourself a favor…google Hooker Hill Itaewon.

Before Stompers I stop at The Rocky Mountain Tavern.


Canadian bar, but a gathering spot for expats in general.  Bar food like you would find at home, Canadian and Korean beers, several tv’s with sports highlights and apparently they broadcast a ton of hockey games.  In my opinion, the NBA Playoffs would be way better.  The dude did say they will squeeze a game in every once a while, but the website has no mention of it.  And when’s the last time the Raptors made the post season?

If you know me at all, you should know that I drink Jack Daniel’s on the rocks, usually with a PBR.  It was at The Rocky Mountain Tavern that I had my first Jack rocks in Korea, but with a Cass on tap instead.

JD Rocky Mountain

So then I rallied up Hooker Hill to Ole Stompers for the Harley party.  Who knew there were so many bikers in Korea?  Before the music started it was a scene straight out of Sons of Anarchy.  Black leather motorcycle club vests everywhere, club members yelling at “prospects” to get them beers and hold their seats while they mingle around the bar, smokey as all hell.  Later in the night as the music started, the bar filled up with more people, more girls really.  Everybody was really cool and having a good time…two people fell down wasted by 11pm.   You can see one of them in the video below, when it fades to Simple Man.

The music was loud.  I only saw LRD play because it got started a little later than the bar owner had anticipated.  The owner also played drums in the band.  LRD is Lance Reegan-Diehl, and his band.


Kind of a Dimebag Darrell looking dude and a good guitar player.  I think he does his own music, but tonight was all covers: Judas Priest, AC/DC, John Mellencamp, Tom Petty, The Doors, Lynyrd Skynyrd, KISS…Here is a montage of their performance.

Because I have no idea how much it costs for me to catch a cab back to my pad from Itaewon, I made sure I was able to get home on the subway, which meant leaving around 11:30…which is lame…which is why I only saw one band play.  But I did make sure to grab a chicken doner kebab at Mr. Kebab on my way to the underground, which was delicious.

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~ by ripcitytoseoul on May 18, 2009.

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