BY ALLISON DIXON
“Rock Will Never Die!!” proclaims a flyer advertising Old Record Bar, Busan’s best — and only — vinyl bar. In a sea of Ho Bars and WA bars blasting tracks that all seem to inevitably lead into the Party Rock Anthem riff, Old Record Bar is a refreshing change.
As a vinyl bar, Old Record Bar encourages patrons to make song requests using the paper and pens made available at tables. Bar owner Mr. Kang is as generous with his music as he is with the amount of alcohol he pours into his drinks, a couple which the menu endearingly misspells as “rumcock” and “wishky.” Mr. Kang is willing to play just about anything if you ask nicely, even if he has to search for it online first. As a result, on busier nights, you might find the bar’s soundtrack jumping from a Korean ballad to obscure psychedelic rock to a concert DVD of Michael Jackson singing Man in the Mirror in front of audience members fainting like they’ve just seen God.
When he’s choosing the tunes himself, Mr. Kang delves into his rather intimidatingly extensive collection of rock, blues and jazz albums which line the wall behind the bar. He’s also a fan of classic album posters, as evidenced by the posters adorning the walls: Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Bob Marley, and even Queen’s famous nude bicycle race, to name a few. When you order your drink at the bar counter, take a moment to peruse the motley assortment of notes and sketches left there by customers, ranging from the profound to the bizarre.
All in all, Old Record Bar is a no-frills, relaxed bar and a great break from the typical top 40 music of other bars in Busan. There’s no better way to unwind after a particularly bad day at work than to sit down with friends over a nice glass of wishky and dream of better times to come – all to the tune of your favourite song.
Directions: From Seomyeon Station exit 1, walk straight and turn right at the Kumkang shoe store. Go straight and take the first right after the building with the Cinus theatre and Paris Baguette Café. Old Record Bar is on the left side of the street, on the 2nd floor.
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