Line Friends: The Cutest Thing in Itaewon
Set in the hip district of Itaewon, a district that usually caters to those of drinking age or older, sits the extremely cute and kid friendly Line Friends Flagship Store (라인프렌즈 플래그십 스토어 이태원점).
This store looks very kid friendly with huge teddy bears, ducks, bunnies and other furry friends in the windows and decorating the doorway so walking by with a two year old and NOT entering was NOT an option. This is one of THREE flagship stores in the city of Seoul but is the most centrally located.
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We entered knowing nothing about what Line Friends was and left knowing all about these characters.. or at least where they live. Line Friends are characters that were originally a communications app characters from an app out of Japan. Yes, while I grew up with Mickey Mouse and the Rugrats on TV, kids of today are growing up with characters on their phones. Line is Japan’s largest social network and has more than 600 million users worldwide. No, I am not one of them… yet…
Upon entering the Itaewon flagship store, patrons will notice a HUGE teddy bear that goes by the name of Brown. Depending on the season, he may be dressed up in costumes. Just next to him is a replica of where Brown resides and everyone is welcome to walk on in, act like they own the place with Brown and take photos too. The first floor of the shop showcases the stationary, toys and other small trinkets on sale for purchase along with some of their popular pillows though there are even more upstairs. Walking up the steps to the second floor will take you by Sally’s home. She is the duck character and the door to her abode asks that no one enter but just politely peer in through the window. Sally’s home and doorway are the perfect height for a two year old so luckily the door is locked so said two year old can’t break in. Above Sally’s house is Cony’s house, the bunny character of the group.
The second floor features a huge Sally character to take photos. For some reason she was especially appealing to my little one. She just adored that the duck was wearing socks… yeah, I don’t get it either. Yay for socks!! The second floor is the lifestyle section and offers clothing, little backpacks, more pillows, band aids and other items for sale. The second floor circles around and naturally leads you up to the staircase leading to the third and final floor where the cafe is located along with numerous other photo ops. There are Line Friends all over the place and luckily for me, most of them were nailed down so they couldn’t be carted away by our wee one.
If you’ll be visiting Seoul and want to stay in the area, check out the IP Boutique Hotel for a great stay just down the street. Also in the area and featuring a great view of the city is the Grand Hyatt Seoul.
The cafe offers up cupcakes, cakes and more sweet treats along with bagels, sandwiches and other brunch and lunch menu items. There are also Line Friends beers and beer appropriate snacks sold as well. From Sally’s Kitchen to a Barbershop, a bus stop and cafe tables with the characters installed as well, there are so many photo zones upstairs, you could be there awhile.
Unlike many themed cafes/stores where the food is a bit subpar because people don’t really go there for it anyway, I found the cupcake to be on point and delicious and the coffee to be just right too.
Not only was it a great spot in the middle of Itaewon to hang out and get a bite to eat but it was fun for my two year old and, unlike kids cafes, we didn’t have to pay to enter. Great place in Itaewon where kids are totally welcome… though you may have to purchase something to get them out of the store. (I would recommend the band aids that are only W4,000 or the stickers that are only W2,000 both of which are much cheaper than the pillows that are more than W20,000.)
Line Friends Flagship Store
Address: 200 Itaewon-ro Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea
Directions: By subway, take Itaewon Subway Station exit 3 and walk straight. The flagship store will be on your right about a block down and is easy to spot.
Hours: Monday ~ Wednesday & Sunday: 11:30am – 10:00pm; Thursday ~ Saturday: 11:30am – 11:00pm