From pirate-themed bars to coffee shops shaped like the Titanic, Koreatown has always been known for it's gimmicky fads. But now it's been taken to a new, borderline litigious level with news that a Koreatown eatery has renamed itself after “Gangnam Style,” the international mega-super-smash hit from K-Pop star PSY. And no, its not Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong, whose cherubic celebrity proprietor gets mistaken for PSY on a daily basis.
The fad-following restaurant in question was previously known as Soju Town, a spot known for its fried chicken, spicy rice cakes and copious amounts of the low-proof rice spirit known as soju. A few weeks ago it briefly closed only to reopen with new “Gangam Style” signage. So what do PSY's people think about the whole matter? TMZ reports that a lawsuit was originally in the works, but was scrapped when PSY supposedly admitted “he doesn't give a crap … because where he comes from, imitation is a form of honor.” What an interesting insight into Korean culture, TMZ.
Hopefully, PSY produces another K-Pop hit, otherwise the name change will soon look as dated as a Milli Vanilli ice cream parlor. For now though, Koreatown revelers who haven't heard the song on repeat for the thousandth time should get their chicken and soju on to the thumping sounds of PSY (plus 50% off late night happy hour!).
Gangnam Style: 3869 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; (213) 386-9114.
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