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A Look Inside 221B Cafe In Seoul

221B Cafe in Seoul. Sherlock cafe. The Baker Street Babes. www.bakerstreetbabes.com

You really do hear of Sherlock everywhere…

Sherlock is a global sensation, there’s no doubt about that. The popularity of the show has spread far and wide with live cinema viewings of its episodes and multiple conventions springing up in its honor. It’s what launched Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman into international stardom, and also what is currently filming in London. However, when roaming the streets of Seoul, South Korea you may not expect to come across an entire cafe themed around the hit BBC show. And yet…

221B Cafe in Seoul. Sherlock cafe. The Baker Street Babes. www.bakerstreetbabes.com

You may remember our brief dabbling into the world of KPOP when we announced we were becoming The 베이커 스트리트 Babes on April 1st. Sure, it was funny and seemingly ridiculous, but it actually has a lot of merit. South Korea has a massive fan base for the show, the airing of The Abominable Bride beat out Star Wars in the Land of the Morning Calm, and there’s even a Sherlock themed bar in the Itaewon neighborhood of Seoul. Korean fans are some of the most prolific in fan art of the show and it’s safe to say that their enthusiasm for the only consulting detective in the world and his best friend won’t be abating any time soon. After all, there’s real estate involved here!

So on one fine Saturday afternoon, yours truly decided to go in search of this mythical cafe that I had only read about. Considering the last information about it posted online was from 2014, I was slightly worried it was no longer around, but my fears turned out to be unfounded. After getting severely lost thanks to my faulty GPS (thanks for nothing CityMapper), I rounded a corner and burst out into laughter. Why? Because a statue of Benedict Cumberbatch was staring at me.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock statue. 221B Cafe in Seoul. Sherlock cafe. The Baker Street Babes. www.bakerstreetbabes.com

I had only ever seen photos of the interior, never outside, so this was a genuine surprise and one that is still making me laugh in the best way. It makes me wonder if he and the Sherlock crew are aware that there’s a statue of their Sherlock in South Korea. Well, if they didn’t… maybe now they do. If anything, it’s amazing for the selfie opportunities.

The cafe is situated in the basement of the building, so as I head on down the stairs I got a glimpse inside and started to get properly excited. The cafe is themed, yes, but it’s done so in a classy Gangnam style way (Gangnam, yes that ‘Gangnam Style’ Gangnam, is a rather affluent area that’s home to many sleek cafes and such). I was immediately charmed upon entering and it’s not hard to see why with all the little touches to the show, including production photos on the wall and a heavy dose of London paraphernalia.

It was quietly busy, pairs and groups chatting over tables with their drinks, two girls having a lot of fun taking selfies with a rotating glass wall of photos of Benedict and Martin’s faces, and some lads in suits picking up drink orders for their office. It was cozy and nice (and air conditioned omg why is Korea so HOT?!), and I immediately knew this would be a place I would be happy spending some time at.

My Korean isn’t great (frankly it’s barely existent), so I was happy to see English on the signs. It’s a special sort of place that’s targeted at fans, which of course includes international fans, so that wasn’t so surprising… but still it was welcomed. From Sherlock coffee to Moriarty smoothies, there’s plenty to choose from, but I decided to go for Dr. Watson’s Detox Juice. I still have no idea what was in it, but it was a delicious green juice sort of concoction that was very refreshing. Well done, Doc.

There’s quite a few trinkets and such scattered about the cafe, from t-shirts to mugs you can buy, to showcases of things the owner (I assume) has collected. It was just excessively charming and I sort of felt at home as I wandered about checking everything out.

One area that kept catching my eye though was the swanky 221B room. There was a giant glass mirror thing that was simultaneously playing KPOP music videos and rotating pictures of Benedict and Martin’s faces. It was cracking me up and I wanted to go see it in all its glory. So after waiting until it’s vacant, because I’m an awkward turtle, I headed over.

Because technology is scary and amazing, you could change what the mirror did; one button turned it into a giant selfie cam while another made it a mirror so you could y’know… use it as a mirror. I didn’t push the movie button, but I’m sure that perhaps changes the KPOP channel playing. Maybe. Or maybe you can watch full episode on the giant mirror thing. I’ll have to see next time.

It’s safe to say that if you’re ever in Seoul and you’re a Sherlock fan (or really just a Sherlock Holmes fan in general), you need to check this place out. It’s not terribly pricey, has a great ambiance, and it’s just plain adorable.

To get here it’s relatively easy as long as your GPS isn’t awful like mine (and I still found it). It’s not on the main street, but just off of it around the corner. Still, this address will get you where you need to go.

Address: 강남구 논현동 116-6, Seoul, South Korea 135-821
Subway: Gangnam-Gu Office Station, Exit 3
Hours:  M-F: 09:00-22:00, Sat: 10:00 – 21:00, Sun: Closed
Facebook: Cafe 221B

221B Cafe in Seoul. Sherlock cafe. The Baker Street Babes. www.bakerstreetbabes.com

Kristina Manente is the founder of The Baker Street Babes, as well as a podcaster, reporter, event coordinator, and PR guru for the Babes. Beyond Holmes, she’s a gamer, a traveler, a writer, a radio host, and a Van Winkle style napper.

You can listen to her radio work at kristinamanente.com, follow her travels at The Nerdventurists, and read her nerdy culture blog at verynerdycurly.com. Feel free to stalk her on twitter at @CurlyFourEyes.

6 Responses to “A Look Inside 221B Cafe In Seoul”

  1. A Reader says:

    Very neat! If I’m ever in Seoul, I now have at least one place I must go.

  2. Yam says:

    I remember visiting the cafe last year, and I can only say it was great. They have amazing coffee.

  3. […] Si trova a Seoul, in Corea, il bar ispirato completamente al mondo investigativo di Sherlock Holmes. “221B” deve la sua nascita ai film e telefilm di successo degli ultimi anni come Sherlock ed Elementary. Arredi di design con qualche tocco vittoriano e una particolarità sulla panchina all’esterno: una statua in bronzo raffigurante l’attore Benedict Cumberbatch nei panni del famoso investigatore. http://www.bakerstreetbabes.com […]

  4. […] can read a bit more in-depth about the cafe and our first visit over on The Baker Street Babes, home to the Sherlock Holmes podcast Sora and Kristina are both part […]

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