An old coffee shop
I went to a coffee shop that was heavy for many years. Somewhere in the olden days, a scene smudged in the hand as if time had stopped unfolded. I sat down at an old table and ordered a cup of familiar tea, and I warmed my body from the gentle happiness of still feeling refreshed.
Text, photo by Park Eun-gyeong
Seoul Haklim Dabang
Haklim Dabang, located across the street from the former Seoul National University Munri University in 1956, is the head of Daehak-ro, which has remained in place for 60 years. The name Haklim comes from the Haklim Festival, which was a festival at Seoul National University Munri University. It was mainly visited by Seoul National University students and was nicknamed 'Seoul National University Munri University Classroom 25. '
Writers and artists also went in and out of Haklim Dabang as a hideout. Cheon Sang-byeong Lee Cheong-jun, Kim Ji-ha, Kim Seung-ok, and Kim Min-gi spent their bloody youth sitting in Haklim, writing and discussing art. The place that essayist Jeon Hye-rin visited on the last day of her life in January 1965 was also Haklim Dabang, which was her hideout.
Although it doesn't exist as a favorite place for writers and artists as it used to be, people with memories of those days still visit Haklim. Recently, it became known as a filming location for the drama âYou Who Came From the Stars,â and the number of visitors from young people and foreign customers has increased noticeably.
Haklim Dabang is close to exit 3 of Hyehwa Station (Seoul Subway Line 4). If you pass through the narrow entrance under the signboard and climb the creaking wooden stairs, you'll see a coffee shop carefully covered with time. Classical music plays softly from the large speaker on the ceiling. It's a completely different world from the hustle and bustle of Daehakro that I passed by a while ago.
The coffee shop has a duplex structure. Portraits of classical players are hung on the second-floor railing. This is a calendar photo taken from a record label 30 years ago by CEO Lee Chung-yeol, the owner of Haklim. They also had wrinkles on their faces because they grew old with Haklim. A picture taken by the owner is attached to the wall below. CEO Lee Chung-yeol, who is also a photographer, is the fourth owner of Haklim. The relationship began in 1986 when the previous owner handed over the store to him, who was a regular member of Haklim.
The first floor and the second floor had a slightly different atmosphere, but the second floor was more cozy. It feels like an attic. If you look down on the railing, you can see the owner pouring coffee and the customers talking with a table in between.
Haklim is also famous for its delicious coffee. I only believe in history and memories, and I don't neglect coffee. All coffees are made from hand-roasted Haklim Blends. There are four types of hand drip coffee brewed with Haklim Blend. The softest coffee is American, and standard coffee is regular. If you want a stronger drink, you can choose Strong or Royal Blend. Haklim's signature dish, Royal Blend, is a very rich coffee made by mixing three or four cups of beans with one cup of water.
Viennese coffee is also popular. Put soft cream like mousse on the coffee and sprinkle with cinnamon powder. It can be eaten in many ways, but it tastes best when you wait for the coffee color to rise on the edge of the cream and then eat the peaks of the cream.
It would be a pity to miss the homemade cream cheesecake. The cake with the rabbit pattern is soft like pudding and white like a cloud. Choose between orange jam and blueberry jam and eat it as a side dish.
Address 119 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (50 meters towards Hyehwa-dong roundabout, exit 3 of Hyehwa Station, Seoul Subway Line 4) Telephone 02-742-2877 Opening hours 10:00 to midnight, 24/7 website hakrim.pe.kr menu regular 4,500 won, American 4,500 won, strong 6000 won, royal blend 8,000 won, Vienna coffee 5500 won, cream cheesecake 5,000 won