Saturday, August 1, 2015

Cafe Gaene 카페 개네 [ Myeongdong Cafe Review ]

I recently became acquainted with a sweet, fun girl from England at a hip hop concert and we decided to meet at 명동 (Myeongdong, a popular shopping district) for coffee and shopping! She recommended a dog cafe there and even though I'm more of a cat person, I really wanted to check it out.



Is it more than just a cafe? 

Dog cafes and cat cafes are a popular concept in Asia and slowly are making their way into the States. There's even a cat cafe opening in my hometown, Austin, called the Blue Cat Cafe!
The idea is to be able to enjoy your beverage with friends while playing with animals. I think this idea is fun, since it means there's more to do at a cafe than just chatting.

I mentioned in my video that some pet cafes are closer to "cafe that happens to have pets" rather than a "pet cafe" with emphasis on the animal. Typically (but not always), with the former, your entry fee is the cost of the drink. With the latter (like the style of this cafe), the drink comes with the entry fee.

The seating was around the perimeter of the room to give room to play with dogs and the provided blankets also made it convenient to let the dogs lay on your lap. However, I didn't see any toys! Not having been to other dog cafes, I can't say if this is typical or not, but for it I took one heart off for execution of concept, particularly since it was a dog-emphasized dog cafe. Most cat cafes I've been to had toys to play with, though.

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Since I mentioned earlier that this dog cafe puts emphasis on the "dog," I'm not sure if it's necessarily bad that the appearance wasn't more attractive. The decor was mostly photos of the dogs and staff-made bios of the dogs on the wall. Otherwise, there was minimal decoration. However, it was tidy and nice looking, just not anything special. Two hearts off for nothing special.

( I was mostly taking pictures of the dogs since the decor wasn't much to look at and the dogs were so much fun )

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Visibly clean, no animal smell, and cleaning supplies were in multiple areas of the room so the staff could keep it that way. Having blankets for our laps was definitely a plus! I really dislike getting dog hair on me.. One dog peed on the floor while we were there, but a staff member was quick to clean it up without any issue. Cleanliness is really important in pet cafes!

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Beverage & Food

I don't remember seeing any food options, but my peach iced tea was delicious! As I've been saying, since it's a dog emphasized dog cafe, I wouldn't necessarily go here for the drinks, though. It seemed that if you want to drink, you have to sit at the table. I didn't necessarily see a rule for it, but no one had their drinks with them on the ground and would get up to drink. The menu was also quite small, even though I've seen many pet cafes with larger menus. Taking one heart off because the beverages were not an emphasized quality at this cafe

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₩8,000 included a drink, which I think is about average for a pet cafe entry fee. The cafes where the price of the drink is the entry fee usually are cheaper. I would've been more content with the price if the decor was cuter or themed, so I'm taking off one heart.

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I didn't talk to everyone, but the staff that I did talk to spoke English! As I said in the video, I could tell the staff really cared about the dogs as they showed them attentive affection. The girl seemed to be talking about when one of the bigger dogs was a puppy, so I think she may have been working there for a while. They all seemed nice and were willing to answer questions about the dogs. One of the guy workers was pretty cute too :)

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Special: The dogs

Topic differs given special conditions of the cafe. 

The dogs varied in breed and size, though there were 3 pugs. They all seemed healthy, happy, friendly, and well taken care of. Many would approach us on their own, some would crawl on our laps, and the others could be approached and petted. All were on their best behavior and only barked a few times. Most people in the cafe seemed to have a dog curled up in their lap. When it comes to the dogs at this cafe and their well-being (and cleanliness of the animals as I mentioned before), I have to give them a full five hearts! 

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I believe this one's name was Chancel No. 2. She was my favorite! What a big sweet ball of fluff!


Favorite quality: Definitely the variety of dog breeds and their friendliness.

Would I come back? Probably! Though I'd like to try other dog cafes too to get a better feel for what they're like. This place was nice and the dogs were exceptional, but there wasn't anything special on the surface. As you'll see in more of my blog posts, I like to be impressed by appearances AND quality :)

Would I recommend it? Definitely would recommend it to a dog lover, like my best friend back home :) Since I'm more of a cat person, I would like to get something more out of going to a dog cafe, like cute decor, but she loves dogs so much that I don't think she'd mind simple decor so long as she could play with and pet fun dogs!

Final Score:
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카페 개네 (Cafe Gaene)
서울특별시 중구 충무로1가 22-2
22-2 Chungmuro 1, Junggu, Seoul

Myeongdong Station (Line 4), Exit 5

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