Hang your hat and take a load off in Nashville
SEOUL - I was strolling through Itaewon and feeling pretty parched when I spotted an oasis where I could hang my hat and sit for a spell.
Sorry - when I walk into someplace called Nashville, it's hard not to slip into character.
At first crack, the second-floor Nashville Sports Club had all the makings of another interesting night on the town. There was a cowboy hat perched on a coat rack just inside the door, everything was covered in a dark-stained wood paneling and there was a South Korean man slumped in a stool, head in his hands.
Sadly, there wasn't a "my wife left me and my dog died" tune to be found. That hope fizzled quickly when I noticed the "out of order" sign on the jukebox.
Instead, like in most of the bars in Itaewon, the bartenders picked songs from a huge playlist downloaded to a computer. And while nobody was line dancing, a few folks were bouncing in their seats.
The bar is part of a three-club complex, with the Nashville Steak House in the basement and the Rooftop Beer Garden on the third floor.
The Sports Club portion is popular for sports leagues, and I was told you can always find someone to practice against on the bar's two pool tables and two dartboards. Just put your name on the bottom of the list on the whiteboard and wait your turn.
I showed up a bit too late for dinner - the kitchen closes at 10 p.m. on weeknights. Still, the menu looked appetizing and was divided into "Pub Grub," "Veggie" and "Dogs."
The drink selection and prices were par for course in the neighborhood. Tap beer runs about $3 and mixed drinks start at about $5.
I'd recommend it if you're looking for something a little less raucous than a night at one of the Itaewon meat markets. Here, you needn't expect a gunfight at the OK Corral.
Nashville Sports Club, Seoul
Drink prices: About $3 for a draft beer; cocktails start at about $5
Cover charge: None
Food: Chicken burgers, chili cheeseburgers, vegetable kebabs, mushroom burgers and every hot dog known to man.
Entertainment: Thousands of songs played off a jukebox (when operational) or a huge computer playlist.
Clientele: A mix of base residents and local ex-pats.
Dress: As casual as you want.
Location: On the main Itaewon strip. If you're headed from Yongsan Garrison, it's on the right, near the big Hamilton Hotel intersection. Hours: Noon to 2 a.m. on weekdays; noon to 4 a.m. on weekends and holidays.
Web site: http://www.nashvilleclub.com/
Speak English: Yes
Telephone number: no availeble