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“I said, ‘Let’s go right now,’ so we gathered right away.” When Cho Tae-won, a self-employed person, sent a message, his fifty-eight-year-old friends, Park Sang-won and Park Jin-woo, came running. Their gathering place was ‘Euljiobi ( OB ) Bear’.

On the 25th of last month at 3pm. Spring rain was falling incessantly on the quiet street. Despite the inclement weather, the three middle-aged and elderly people clashed glasses at the newly opened Euljiobi Bear near Gyeonguiseon Book Street in Mapo-gu, Seoul. These are regular customers of Eulgiobi Bear for over 30 years. “You don’t know how sad it was to suddenly disappear from Euljiro. It seemed like all of our youth had disappeared.” They expressed their regret with one voice.

Originally, Euljio B Bear was located in the so-called ‘Nogari Beer Alley’ in Eulji-ro, Jung-gu. 43 years ago, Mr. Kang Hyo-geun opened Euljio Bi Bear in Euljiro Printing Alley, now called ‘Nogari Beer Alley’. Born in Songhwa-gun, Hwanghae-do, he came down to South Korea during the January 4th retreat and worked as a US military officer in Cheorwon, Gangwon-do. He operated a light food restaurant, Normandy, in Jongno 3-ga and opened it in 1980 as a franchise store for draft beer started by Dongyang Beer (now Obi Beer). This is the first button for the birth of Nogari Beer Alley.

“I will go back to Euljiro someday”

Now, this alley has become a national landmark, but at the time, it was a harsh place with few restaurants. The first thing Kang Hyo-geun did was build trust with local residents. He got up at dawn and cleaned the streets without being pushed on his back. He stayed and ate at the store and opened it in the morning, which is unusual for a beer house. The reason was simple. This is because he wanted to serve ‘rich draft beer’ instead of ‘cold soju’ to printing alley workers who worked all night long on their way home in the morning. The price is only 380 won. Not only printing alley workers, but also Seoul subway workers who worked day and night shifts called this place ‘gochujang house’ and became regular customers.

Ido Kang Hyo-geun was the first person in Korea to develop nogari (pollack baby) side dishes. The combination of gochujang sauce and nogari he devised instantly went viral, and people flocked to it. As the golden years passed, beer houses opened one by one around the store, and eventually Euljio Bi Bear became the chairperson of them. It became a symbol of the alley. What sets it apart from the bar alleys overflowing across the country lies in the historicity of Euljiobi Bear. For this reason, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (Ministry of SMEs and Startups) designated this house as a ‘centennial store’ in 2018. The 100-year store is a policy that the Ministry of SMEs and Startups discovers and supports stores with preservation values ​​of 100 years or more. The Seoul Metropolitan Government also designated this alley as a ‘Seoul Future Heritage’ in 2015, specifying Euljiobi Bear as the ‘originator of the alley’.

About 10 years ago, the daughter of the founder, Kang Ho-shin (63), and her husband, Choi Soo-yeong (68), run Euljiobi Bear. Mr. and Mrs. Kang, who went to the sales line on behalf of her aging father, hoped to continue their founding philosophy in Euljiro, but the changed building owner requested to move out. After a five-year court battle, the sixth forced execution took place in April of last year, and I had to leave the streets of Euljiro.

“I will go back to Euljiro someday. It is my least courtesy and duty toward my father. It hurts my heart that I couldn’t protect the place my father built his whole life.” The voice of Mr. Kang Ho-shin, whom I met on the 25th of last month, was mixed with grief and sadness.

Right now, it is difficult to establish a footing in Euljiro. But that doesn’t mean she can’t let her father’s life disappear without a trace. The Kang couple opened a newly refurbished Euljiobi Bear near Gyeonguiseon Book Street (Wausan-ro 37-gil, Mapo-gu) in March. Now, his son Choi Seong-hyeok (29) is also with him.

“When we were in trouble, so many people helped us. Even during the forced execution several times, nearby merchants, regular customers, and various civic groups voluntarily blocked it. I came to know that ‘you really like our store’ and ‘business isn’t just for profit’. It would never have happened if my father only pursued profit. Even when business was going well, he didn’t even increase the store’s floor space, and it was my father who closed the store at 10 p.m. Kang Ho-shin spoke calmly, reflecting on her father’s stubbornness.

Just like the old signboard

The newly opened Euljiobi Bear has a completely different scenery. The space of 19.8㎡ (about 6 pyeong) in the past has been expanded to 132㎡먹튀검증 (about 40 pyeong), and an outdoor terrace has been created. Inside, a string of small twinkling lights is stretched out like a Christmas tree decoration. Mr. Seonghyuk poured his sincerity into the interior. The briquette fire used in the store in Euljiro is still used here to grill nogari. The size of the nogari is bigger and the price is 3,000 won. On the menu, there are rat poo, saury fish, cutlassfish, and pupae. not exceed 10,000 won There is also a new menu. Sausages, ramen noodles, french fries and chicken. The taste of beer remains the same as in the days of Euljiro. Draft beer kegs (casks) are managed in refrigerators with temperature control devices. This is to adjust the beer temperature according to the season. Isn’t it said that temperature determines the taste of all food? The price is 4500 won. cool as before It is a taste equipped with coolness so that you do not have to be afraid of the heat wave.

An old-fashioned signboard hangs at the entrance. The picture of a round bear holding a glass full of beer along with the words ‘ OB bear’ stands out. It seems to offer a cup of comfort to all of us who have protected Korean society since the 1980s.

Although Eulgiobi Bear has made a fresh start, Kang Ho-shin and his wife are not at ease. Various lawsuits are still ongoing. They are in a position to pay a large amount of money to the building owner because the ‘Euljio Bear Protection’ cultural festival held in Euljiro exceeded the noise standard set by the Assembly and Demonstration Act. Originally, this street had high decibels of noise at night, and it did not exceed the maximum noise standard set by the Seoul Central Police Station, the police station in charge, Choi Soo-young explains. He is also facing a criminal trial for preventing compulsory execution.

He said, “I didn’t even cry when my father died. i won’t cry Until I can tell my father that I have fulfilled my responsibility by resurrecting in a splendid way with the Eulgio B. Bear signboard.” Kang Ho-shin’s determined words spread through the spring rain that heralded summer.

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