Jazz and Sanjo

Jazz and Sanjo

On a quiet side-street, buried between residential houses wild hedges, you will find a tiny little pub called Jazz and 산조 (Sanjo). It's the kind of place that's impossible to find unless you know where to look, but let me assure you, it's worth the effort.  


How do you get there... The most direct way is to get in a cab and say "Jazz and Sanjo ga juseyo" (Please take me to Jazz and Sanjo). Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. If your driver has no idea what you're talking about (and many don't), just ask them to take you to the Shinae parking lot in downtown Chungju (shinae juchajang ga juseyo, or 시내주차장). I've included a map at the end of this post to help you out. Jazz and Sanjo is just across from the church parking lot, hiding behind some bushes.

The bar is the kind of place that makes you ache to take a load off, pull up a pint, and relax. Jazzy tunes drift on the air like silk. The owners are friendly and accustomed to westerners. They've got Wi-Fi, and they won't blink twice if you pop open a laptop, set up in a quiet corner and go to town editing or working. They open at about 2pm and close at midnight.


We took a seat outside to enjoy the warm evening. One of the owners appeared with a bi-lingual menu (English and Korean) and we ordered some drinks: a ginger honey tea for me and a Red Rock (a Korean Microbrew) for Erin. The beer was awesome, and the tea was strong enough to make my toes curl. But in a good way.


The owners love their music and it shows. The atmosphere buzzed with classical, jazz, sanjo (a traditional style of Korean folk music), or blends of all three. Inside, there were a couple walls that were nothing but CD's.

You thought I was kidding
You thought I was kidding

In warmer months, they sometimes have live music outside. We didn't see a performance schedule, and there wasn't anyone playing when we went, but we plan to go back as often as we can. Eventually, we'll get lucky.

I could have spent the whole night there, reveling in the ambiance. That's not hyperbole. I haven't found a bar this awesome since we left Milwaukee, and though I miss Paddy's Irish Pub, I have to admit that it's a bit of a commute.

Still, at least I seem to have found the Korean equivalent.


Update: While discussing Jazz and Sanjo with a friend, we learned that the eclectic décor is apparently pure 1980s Korea!  5/7/2014

It's difficult to find Jazz and Sanjo via Google or Naver, but I managed to rough out a map to go with the directions. Note that the location indicated on the map is approximate.