Post #29 – The long awaited FNC WOW coffee shop of the music label FNC opens in Myeongdong.  It is still a soft opening, but coffee is served in exchange of Instagram promotion by patrons, and the video visuals are up.  Why am I saying that is ‘long awaited’? Because we all hoped that FNC will eventually have a place of their own that is open to the public.  The impenetrable fortress in Cheongdamdong has long been a sore spot in the eyes of fans.  Fans want some type of ‘proximity’ to their idols and what better than allowing them to sip a cup of coffee while listening tirelessly to CNBLUE, AOA, FTILAND, SF9, NFLYING or HONEYST?

FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
The bar at FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong

FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong – vanity section with Jung YongHwa image
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
Exterior of building on Myeongdong Shopping Street where BOOTS is located. FNC WOW is on the 4 floor

I was sold to the idea of an FNC coffee shop and followed up with the news.  September 4th was announced as soft opening day… and low and behold it was open.  I wondered in there like onto a deserted island… in gold, aqua, white, pink and peach … WOW!  Maybe noon was too early for coffee? Am I the first one here?  By the puzzled look in the barista’s eyes I believe I must have been.  How do I get a coffee?  Well, they were not selling yet but I could go downstairs for a promotion, get a voucher and come back.  I did, but instead of a coffee voucher I got a bottle of Listerine.  Otoke?

My iced coffee at FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
My iced coffee at FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong

Climbed back up the hill (WOW is on the 4th floor) and discovered that Instagram posting works as well, so the barista and I monkeyed around for a few shots which I posted and got a delicious Yong Iced Coffee … well, it was iced coffee, Yong or not.  In exchange for the courtesies we showed each other, my new friend asked me to give him an English name.  I decided on Sebastian.  So, meet Sebastian!  I hope he will be there a long time, and make many new friendships.  I know that my fellow BOICE are very loyal and will treat him with love.

FNC WOW opening day
At FNC WOW on soft opening day with my new friends barista Sebastian
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
Greetings from FNC WOW
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong – CNBLUE on the big screen, music video
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
Jung YongHwa, leader of CNBLUE, electronic poster at FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
Hwi Young of Honeyst at FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
AOA at FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong. Lee Yonghyun in MV.
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
Jung YongHwa on electronic poster at FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong. This image is from an eye-wear advertising.

I sat for about an hour to charge my phone, take it all in, take photos, look at the videos, and follow like in a dream a group of people most probably from FNC and BOOTS making last minute adjustments all around me.  Not knowing the language made this a surreal exercise in aqua and pink.  The rose gold accents make the place look very YongHwa.  I believe the barista turned on CNBLUE exclusively for me, so I was just peachy…

FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong – interior with Blah Blah Blah neon sign
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong – interior with neon sign Eat Cake
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong – interior
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
Seolhyun from AOA on the electronic poster display at FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong

WOW is a very adequate place for a surreal experience.  A row of fuchsia cushioned seats borders windows covered in heavy dark green, sheltering the place from the broad daylight.  Other seats around the corner have tall windows with views over Myeongdong Shopping Street and some of the nearby very ornate European-looking buildings.  It was a fine thought to edit the view.

High chairs and tables at FNC WOW

A row of Alice-in-Wonderland-like high chairs are flanking two long high-tables in pink with perfectly round rose-gold mirrors placed at head-level at each seat. These are running along the two larger screens that show in a loop images from certain music videos and advertising appearances of the main FNC bands.  On a parlor table display with vanity lights located farther ahead, YongWha and Seolhyun take turns appearing on a mirror screen, posing for eyeglasses and fancy clothes.  Both are just beautiful, and make the anchor point of the coffee shop.  In fact, a nearby row of seats resembles an artist changing room, with small tables aligned along the wall and velvet-covered gold vanity chairs in aqua, and pink velvet.

The décor is stylish and a bit art deco, and aside from the screens showing the music acts, there is hidden lighting, spot lighting, a few big round white lamps, and a set of neon decorations in hot pink spelling fun words: Eat Cake, Blah Blah Blah, and La La La.  The main entrance sign is a Las Vegas knock-off: Welcome FNC WOW Celebrity Space.

FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong
FNC WOW Coffee Shop Myeongdong getting ready to receive visitors on opening day

The bar in itself is massive and industrial in comparison with the whimsical décor.  Not sure yet what the menu will be, but a second visit is a must.  The ceiling is also very industrial, as it is nowadays customary to leave all pipes and ducts uncovered.  But it is all painted in flawless white, a nice compromise since FNC WOW is after all inside a drugstore, a British one for that matter, very clean cut and fancy.  The main access to FNC WOW is via a very broad and bright set of stairs through the middle of the Boots store, what adds a touch of luxury to this very well located coffee shop.

How do you get there?  Take Line 4 (light blue line) to Myeongdong Station and exit towards Myeongdong Shopping Street (Exits are labeled in English).  As soon as you get out, look for the shopping street – it is a pedestrian area immediately perpendicular to the exit – turn into it and walk for about 4 blocks.  Boots will be on the front corner on the right.  You can’t miss it.  The entire building is painted with dark blue accents and has an enormous BOOTS sign on it.  Go inside and walk up to the…very WOW coffee shop FNC WOW.

Waiting to see what other improvements will be added (I secretly hope for a merchandise little store), I will definitely return and keep everyone posted.

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Author

“A long and sinuous Silk Road unites all our cultures, a road full of colors, hardships, and hopes. If given the chance to travel this road over and over again, overlapping images would melt into a warm human fabric, full of labor, sweat and dreams. This fabric inspires my work. Its resilience is my hope for a common road into a harmonious future.” Ellie Perla

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