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Blue Bottle to launch in Seongsu by 2019

Blue Bottle Coffee is launching its first South Korean store in Seoul’s Seongsu neighborhood by the second quarter of 2019, marking the company’s second overseas expansion.

Despite rumors that the company’s first Korean branch would be established in either Gangnam or Samcheong-dong, Blue Bottle Coffee Korea announced recently that Seongsu had been chosen as the venue.

(Blue Bottle Coffee)
(Blue Bottle Coffee)

The Seongsu district in eastern Seoul is sometimes called “the Brooklyn of Seoul.” The area is emerging as a cultural hub with galleries and fine restaurants. Nearby is the idyllic Seoul Forest.

Blue Bottle’s Korean launch was first hinted at in November 2017, when CEO Bryan Meehan said he saw great potential in the Korean market. “We feel very close to our South Korean guests, having known them for years in our cafes in the US and Japan and on social media,” said Meehan at the World Coffee Leaders Forum. “Now, Blue Bottle Coffee will no longer be just a tourist destination for them, but a part of the fabric of Seoul.”

Like its other cafes in the US and Japan, the Seongsu store will include a roastery within the same building.

Blue Bottle will also bring a local flavor to its Seongsu branch, in line with the brand’s long tradition of adapting the interior design and architecture of its cafes to suit the local population. Korean customers will also be able to enjoy Korea-only menu options and souvenirs.

Founded in 2002, the Oakland, California-based coffee company has 56 stores in the US and ten in Japan.

By Lee Tae-hee (