May 11, 2018
If you ever wondered whether there was a sweet spot in Seoul’s bar scene between sombre temples to the God of Dark Spirits and cray-cray clubs mainlining K-pop, then Y1975 should nail that answer down. (You’re welcome.) Opened in 2014, the staff at this Cheongdam hotspot put the hawt into hot, and the interior boasts a similar visual appeal. The expansive space, complete with a très 007 aquarium – home to the dinkiest miniature reef sharks – is divided up into distinct zones to suit most moods and most stages of the evening, from blingy gold tables flooded in blue and purple light to moody leather armchairs set around an antiquated trunk. Dramatic chandeliers work with the elaborate arched windows to add a sense of retro style. Y1975 is definitely – even defiantly – not a speakeasy, but a lounge bar. Sure, you can sip dark spirits here, but it’s really about fun drinks: brightly coloured test-tube shots, experimental cocktails with cotton candy, good-time fruity daiquiris, champagne and, of course, Mojitos. The food menu ticks most of the classic Western bar snack boxes, but you’d be better off dining elsewhere: Y1975 is a latenight lounge par excellence. Come early to enjoy Martinis on tall chairs around the central island bar; come late to nod your head to some of Seoul’s best DJs; and, when weather permits, don’t fail to take advantage of that splendid terrace out front. But do get your party shoes on: Y1975 has a strict dress code.