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CNN Café opens flagship shop on Seoul's busiest street
The Gangnam Station branch offers carrot cake, quiet study stations and breaking news all day
CNN Café opened its largest venue yet at Gangnam Station, following expansion into Busan and university campuses in Seoul.
The 500-square-meter flagship café is located on the second floor to the right of Exit 11 (formerly Exit 7) of Gangnam Station on the green line, and retains the original concept of offering newswires, study stations and computer terminals, in addition to offering coffee, tea and dessert.
Upon our first foray there for the grand opening, we were pleasantly surprised by how good the cake was until we found out that all the baked goods are by gourmet bakery Migo. The café’s cookies, jams and chocolates are stocked by artisan chocolatier J.Brown, while the red bean for the bingsu (shaved ice desserts) is all locally grown.
In particular, we recommend the carrot cake (₩4,900), (it’s difficult to come by carrot cake in Seoul, let alone a soft, yummy version) and "Cocopa" -- tiny white chocolate truffles (₩2,000).
Unlike the jam-packed, rip-roaring gossiping in the coffeeshops characteristic of the area, CNN Café functions more as a book café (substituting news for books) and is quiet and laid-back.
“It’s seems like a really great place to come and study by yourself,” says Kim Hyun-Ko, 26, a religion teacher who came to lead a study group at a corner table. “It’s sometimes really awkward to go to a café by yourself, but here it seems like the perfect set-up.”
More on CNNGo: iReport: Seoul's independent coffee culture
CNN International plays on LED screens throughout the café and along one entire wall, and customers can plug in their own earphones or borrow headphones from the café for the accompanying sound. Each station also has a USB outlet for charging phones.
Meeting rooms are available for use for groups of seven or more customers and can be reserved in advance.
To mark the grand opening, the café is holding a number of promotions. Customers with July birthdays will get a free size upgrade while students of YBM -- one of Korea's largest English education companies -- will receive 20 percent discount if they show their tuition receipt at the time of purchase.
Every customer receives a free CNN phone screen cleaner, and the first 200 customers to spend more than ₩ 10,000 will receive a bright red CNN mug. We’d hurry if we were you. They’re super cute.
CNN Café is managed by YBM in association with Turner Asia Pacific Turner and its sister company CNN own and operate CNNGo.
2/F Gangnam-gu, Gangnam daero 408 (서울시 강남구 강남대로 408, 201호); +82 2 557 6674
More on CNNGo: First CNN Café opens in Seoul