Lee Duk-joo and Choi Mira
California-based Blue Bottle Coffee has opened its first store in Seongsu-dong, one of the most trending spots in Seoul, on Friday.
The long-awaited opening of the U.S. upscale coffee chain drew scores of Korean coffee lovers to line up even before the shop opened at 8:00 in the morning.
The red-brick shop featuring its signature design focus on natural light includes a roastery and training lab. The building designed by Japanese architect Jo Nagasaka who also led the construction of Blue Bottle’s Tokyo store provides a transparent view to the roastery through glass walls, Blue Bottle Korea said. There are walnut tables and chairs on the underground floor to allow comfortable resting to customers.
The Korean store is the coffee chain’s second international launch, since it opened its first overseas shop in Tokyo in 2015.
The store offers espresso and Americano at 5,000 won ($4.27) and latte at 6,100 won, slightly higher than its U.S. shops that provide espresso at $3.5 and Tokyo shop at 450 yen ($4.04). Special merchandises including Seoul Tote and Glass Mug are also available for purchase.
Blue Bottle Korea said it plans to open its second store in Samcheong-dong, northern Seoul, and add two more shops by the end of the year.
Founded in 2002 in Oakland, California, Blue Bottle Coffee runs 56 cafes in the U.S. and 10 in Japan.