Mania Street & Charlie Pub, Seoul

One night, my friend Joe and I were walking around Gangnam looking for a cocktail bar so we could catch up. One of the infuriating things for me is how hard it is to get a good, cheap cocktail near Gangnam Station. We walked around a bit, until Joe told me that there were a few cool spots he saw in Nonhyun. So we walked over and it was definitely something new for me to see in Korea.

There were two bars right next to each other: Mania Street and Charlie Pub. They were both special because the bar is open to the street so you literally just sit down. That was pretty cool so we decided to try both of them out.

We started with Charlie Pub. I liked the atmosphere of the place. Others might think its dirty and run down but I think it adds character. I don’t know why, but both bars had bills of different currencies all over the walls. I guess its a street bar thing.


Joe and I both got Manhattans (10,000W each). I saw the guy making them, and it was a bare minimum Manhattan with not much love put in. He probably took 30 seconds making it, and I think we all know a good Manhattan cannot be made in 30 seconds. The taste validated my concerns. We left and then decided to check out Mania Street, the bar next door.

Mania Street had a lot more action going on. The decor is similar to the previous bar, but it’s more spacious and well lit. The place was packed compared to Charlie Pub and we would soon find out why.


Joe and I decided to try out the Old Fashioned (12,000W each) here and the guy definitely worked meticulously. I appreciated his efforts. What came out afterwards was not perfect, but it was certainly closer to an Old Fashioned than what Charlie Pub deemed a Manhattan.

Overall Joe and I had a blast catching up, and I found a cocktail bar that I would probably go back to again (Mania Street). Cheers.


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