Before this, I was in Beansbins Coffee in Samcheongdong
UPDATE! If you’re here because you want to visit Seungri’s cafe, I hate to say—the end’s here for AND.Here. As of January 2019, AND.Here Cafe is permanently closed, and the building now sits empty on Dongsung-gil. I didn’t realize right away when I wrote this post; it was so sudden! I don’t think it was due to the tumult in Seungri’s life because they closed even before the big bang of the scandal (forgive the pun). I went to AND.Here in September 2018. If you’re curious about the experience AND.Here used to offer, read on. If you want another idol-owned cafe, check out Super Junior Donghae’s Haru & One Day! If you find yourself in Jeju, drop by BTS Suga’s brother’s Gongbech too (it’s totally independent of BTS so you’ll find zero traces of Bangtan here, but still).
For a while, I developed a crush on Seungri (Big Bang) after I watched him on Running Man. Such a crazy guy! Let’s just say it was the peak of my crushing on him, so I did a bit of research and found that he owns a ramen restaurant chain and a coffee shop in Seoul. Being a coffee lover, I took note of the coffee shop and made sure to go there.
I was still in Beansbins Coffee in Samcheongdong when I decided to make Seungri’s café my next stop. I reviewed Google Maps and checked the routes and decided, for some reason, that the distance was walkable—so I walked.
I walked northeast from Samcheongdong, around Samcheong Park and through Myeongnyundong until I reached Dongsungdong where Seungri’s AND.Here Cafe is situated. I walked nearly 4 kilometers, which was made a bit more challenging by the uphill trails. It took me over an hour, maybe close to two hours.
To be honest, when I realized I chose a stupid long route, I panicked a little—just a little bit—but the calmness of the trail lined with lush trees and which, at some points, revealed amazing wide views of the city pacified my anxious heart. I loved that I could revel in the scenery solemnly. The boardwalk trail, although does not seem to be trodden by people often, is well maintained, spacious, and clean. Imagine if it were dilapidated and nasty with dirt—my trek would have been creepier than tranquil.
Anyway, I finally arrived at AND.Here Cafe, and the timing was perfect. I expected to see most of the tables occupied, considering the cafe is owned by a famous Korean idol, but I walked into a peaceful café with only a few people around. So luckily, I got the best spot at a corner, with throw pillows and an adorable stuffed panda.
There is a semi-open room filled with Seungri memorabilia and panda items (Seungri’s spirit animal), with one wall filled with letters from fans. Surely, this café should be the top destination for Seungri’s fans who want to take home some panda items as souvenirs.
On a rainy afternoon, AND.Here Cafe was warm and cozy. The lighting is warm and dim. The pillows made the wooden seats snug. It was perfect when there were only a few people and so the murmur was soft and enhanced the house music.
For a change, I went for their iced milk tea and, since I read that they’re also known for their waffles, got a chocolate chip waffle. It was good but not strikingly good. I know I enjoyed it at that moment, but it was not extraordinary enough for me to remember how to describe it months later. What really struck me the most was the ambiance. I would definitely go back here for the experience and maybe try other specialties.
AND.Here is located at 31-14 Dongsung-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul.
Seoul is definitely a coffee lover’s paradise.