Next up in the Dart Bars of Itaewon series is Friends Bar.
Friends is located about halfway up Hooker Hill on the right hand side above Old Town.
What can I say about this place besides it being just about my least favorite bar in Itaewon? Well, the owner JJ and manager Jonas are both good guys. And the walk up the hill can be shall we say interesting at times, in a Paul Simon kinds of way “just a come on from the whores on 7th Ave”. Other than that, there’s nothing good I can think of.
The bar is dark and dingy. Overwhelmed the flash on my camera dark. I actually lightened each of these photos, otherwise there would be nothing to see. I’m not kidding, when I had a couple of bounceouts I could not see my frickin’ dart on the floor right in front of me.
Anyway, the bar sports 4 dart boards. These two are in the back alongside the bar and we play our “A” division games here. The boards were in decent shape on Monday, but that has not always been the case. The boards themselves have adequate lighting, but otherwise it’s like being in a cave.
These are the two front boards which also looked to be in good playing condition. The problem here is the traffic as folks make the way to the toilet (unisex) and pool tables. As you might be able to see, Friends has one of the few soft tip darts machines left in Itaewon. Koreans are big on the soft tip, but it just never took off in Itaewon for some reason. Fine with me as I really don’t like the game.
Here’s the backside of the bar. Yeah, the bargirls were pretty cute so there’s that. Then again, they don’t serve draft beer which I prefer. You can get your favorite Korean brew in a large sized bottle for Won 5000 however.
Friends does have two pool tables which is pretty unusual. Of course, that means nothing to me but I suppose the pool players of the world appreciate it.
I understand this bar caters to a younger crowd and gets very busy on weekends. They generally play rap at loud volume and have music videos on the big screen, although the mix on Monday night wasn’t bad (after some friendly hints to the bar staff).
As a darts venue, I just don’t like this place. I think the general consensus of SIDL members is similar to mine. They do support two “A” teams and at least one lower division team as well. Frankly, this bar is just stuck in the past and has been far surpassed by the Dolce and Sam Ryan’s venues, which are newer, cleaner, and well-lit. Hemingway would hate this place and I grade it a “D” for darts.
Still to come: Scrooge Pub, 3 Alley Pub, and Manila Bar.