Juicy-free Full House flying under the radar
KUNSAN, South Korea - When I go out to a bar, I prefer not to have a "juicy girl" pouring me $20 domestic beers for the privilege of conversing in broken English.
Maybe I'm in the minority among the folks in A-Town, the cluster of bars and food joints near Kunsan Air Base that resembles a street outside just about every major base in Asia.
From what I can tell, there are three or four bars in this area where you can kick back with a few buddies without being catcalled by women who I can't envision too many servicemembers writing back home to Mom about.
The newest of the juicy-free establishments is Full House, which opened under new management in July.
Even with all the hardworking men and women at Kunsan Air Base, few probably work as hard as Sophia, Full House's owner and bartender.
Sophia has a full-time job with a construction company during the day and is pursuing her graduate degree in economics. In her "spare time," she owns and runs the bar.
"I opened the bar so I could practice my English," Sophia said, sounding quite proficient already.
A small but dedicated group of airmen have frequented the bar since it opened, sipping bottled beer, chatting with Sophia and playing a wide variety of music videos on the bar's high-definition television. Tip: Guys, ask for the "Alizee" video. It's in French, but I guarantee you won't care.
The beer selection is pretty much what you'll find everywhere, with mostly domestics and a few imports like Heineken. The liquor selection has some nice surprises, including 12-year-old bottles of scotch, Hennessy cognac and more. At $20, the "ammo bowl" is pricey but larger than most. If you have to ask what an ammo bowl is, you probably don't want one.
Alongside the bar, a row of comfortable booths have a variety of board and card games at each table. The bar is still in some ways a work in progress. It's Sophia's first bar, and she wants to know what her clients want.
With friendly service, cold beer and an inviting feel, I'd bet on this bar being a success once the word gets out.
E-mail Erik Slavin at:
Full House, Kunsan, South Korea
Drink Prices: 3,000 to 6,000 won, dollars accepted; no cover
Food: Bar snacks
Entertainment: music videos, board games
Location: Take a cab to A-Town, which is a few miles away from Kunsan Air Base, thanks to a security perimeter that used to exist around the installation. From where the cab will drop you off, Full House is located on the right, just before the square where taxis congregate.
Hours: 7 p.m. until curfew; open most nights.