Historic Seoul Navy Club closes doors after four decades of service
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs (NNS) -- The Navy Club in Seoul closed its doors for the last time on May 7, following a disestablishment ceremony held on U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Yongsan.
Rear Adm. Lisa Franchetti, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea (CNFK), hosted the ceremony and spoke to former employees and ceremony guests on the important role the historic restaurant played with Sailors and their family members.
"Today, we salute the Navy Club employees, past and present, for their faithful service to generations of service members and their families stationed in Seoul," said Franchetti. "While this ceremony marks the official closure of our Navy Club, the legacy of this facility will live on in our memories."
More than 100 service members, civilian employees and invited guests attended the ceremony, which included a presentation of awards to employees, remarks from Navy Club Director Randy Quimby, a cake cutting and reception.
"It has been an honor and privilege to serve our service members and the USAG Yongsan community for over 45 years," said Quimby. "As we close our doors, our staff should be proud of all that they have accomplished."
The eccentric bar-and-grill provided American family dining to civilians, service members and their families with a U.S. Navy themed "tchotchke" decor. Additionally, the venue became a base favorite with CNFK and other USAG Yongsan tenant units to host office lunches and command functions.
"My family and I loved the Navy Club and ate here every Friday for our entire two year tour in Seoul," said Chief Mass Communication Specialist Wendy Wyman, assigned to CNFK. "The staff always treated us like old friends and knew each person's favorite comfort food.
They even helped teach my young kids proper restaurant etiquette and how to politely order for themselves."
The Navy Club, which is operated by the U.S. Navy Morale Welfare and Recreation, is being closed due to the planned relocation of the U.S. Naval Forces Korea headquarters to Busan in July 2015 as well as the subsequent relocation of other U.S. Navy personnel to Camp Humphreys in future years.
The restaurant was founded in 1969 as a U.S. Navy themed lounge called Parker's Place. It became an official MWR facility in 1975 and changed its name to the Navy Club.
Over the years, many renovations and additions have been made to the original building, including the famed "jungle room" built by the U.S. Navy Seabees. During its time in service, the Navy Club was voted "Best in the Pacific" by Stars and Stripes for 16 straight years.
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea is the regional commander for the U.S. Navy in the Republic of Korea and provides expertise on naval matters to area military commanders, including the Commander for the United Nations Command, the Combined Forces Command, and Commander, U.S. Forces Korea.
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