There are several "Woodstock" music bars in Seoul, even Gangnam. The one I like best is on Yeoksam-dong side of Gangnam station, up the hill towards the second irish pub location. hard to find, but absolutely unique in terms of character. laid back. good music. darts if you like. from what I understood, the place got started as a pure act of love for blues and rock music, with a huge private collection of vinyl. The place just can take you back in time in the best possible way, i.e. by the music you remember from some time ago. A real bar, which is still rare in Korea, and very friendly people in an interesting mix - this is not your typical expat bar. I once lived close by, but will definitely stop by every time I get a chance to travel to Korea again!
you can find the address here
Unfortunately, this fantastic place to relax and enjoy rock/blues music -built around the original founder's private music collection- with some nice refreshments in Gangnam is a bit hard to find. I was happy enough to be back for a couple of days a little while ago - so here's a snap of their small outside sign, which you will need to spot in order to get there. Good luck & enjoy!
They do have a facebook page in English (and the staff does speak English, too) - but it seems that facebook does not get the actual location right on a map. Google maps is accurate, though.
you may check www.facebook.com/Woodstock.Music.Bar.Gangnam
Dress Code casual
This is the place you want to go. A variety of LIVE music bands perform, particularly on the weekends. Pool table, expected list of beverages, safe, no working girls prying at your wallet, friendly. Bar owners/bartenders Dwayne R. and his wife Hyun Ji run the place and are very welcoming and sociable. Dwayne is also a world-class drummer who sits in on gigs with several of the bands that show up to play. If you are a musician, (solo or not) and you'd like a stage to gain some experience on, Dwayne is very open to such ideas.
Located at the very top of "The Hill". Don't want to walk up the hill past all the "girlie bars"? Easy acccess from several different directions including to the right of the top of the long, wide stairs just past the fire station and gas station going toward Han Nam Dong or the Rocky Mountain Tavern.
Tell Dwayne that you saw this introduction to his place by John Valentine here on the Net and there is a good possibility he'll let you put a drink on my tab. Rock & Roll!
Dress Code Come as you are!
Seoul is bright and busy most hours of the day, evening and early dawn. Koreans do not spend a great deal of time in one locale; instead they move from place to place. Your group may start playing billiards, then off to dinner, then singing, then to a cafe, then to a nightclub, and who knows where else? Each of the following neighborhoods have a bit of the above activities: SHINCHON/E-DAE (near Yonsei and Ewha Women's Universities); MYUNGDONG, CHONG-NO, INSADONG (Central Seoul); DAEHAKNO (University Street, Hyehwa Subway Stop); KANGNAM (Southern Seoul, including Apkujong-dong--this area is more expensive than others); and I'm sure I'm missing other parts of the city. Also, there are 2 areas in Seoul, Mia-dong and Chongnyangni, where prositution & brothels plentifully exist. I hear the girls get younger and younger. Korean citizens can't gamble, so explains underground gamling. Non-Koreans can go to Sheraton Walker Hill Hotel (and probably other establishments) and play black jack or the slot machines. If you do choose to go, remember to bring your passport.
Dress Code Certain nightclubs have a dresscode. These clubs tend to have a 'minimum' order per person and can be selective as to who can or can't enter. Other clubs (e.g. 'rock cafe' - a casual dance club) have no code. Ask before going.
Gran-A is in Novotel Ambassador Doksan. It is located at Guro industrial complex area, so many business persons usually visit here and have a relaxed time with live music. It’s hard to find sophisticated pubs, bars and restaurants around here. Gran-A is an oasis for visitors to enjoy their nightlife in this area. A music band from Philippines provides you with fantastic atmosphere by their good performance. However, the most attractive thing is that we can drink draft beer all you like for 10,000 won only. If you visit at Christmas or Halloween seasons, you are lucky. There are interesting events and parties during the seasons.
Once Upon a Blue Moon has live jazz nightly and makes a great date spot in an intimate, candlelit location. Drinks are a little pricey but worth it. OIBM is also much dressier than most, so don't wear your blue jeans and sneakers!
Black Bush Whiskey named it one of the World's Best Bars... (http://www.worldsbestbars.com/city/Seoul/OnceinaBlueMoon.asp
Dress Code slacks, dress shoes, nice shirt minimum. Some will have coats and ties.
J's is located in the alley beside the Hamilton Hotel and KFC in the heart of Itaewon. It is large, but quiet and dark. They have live music several nights a week. On weekends, they have several bands perform for about an hour or two each. Nice place to go with a group to enjoy music, but quiet enough that you can go with your significant other to sit in the back and talk.
We never spent much time here. Some nights it was so quiet it was almost spooky; other nights it was too busy to be much fun. I'm always looking for that happy medium!