Do you enjoy reading? Do you love coffee? Would you like to enjoy a bird-eye view of Hangang? Check_grow(채그로), a multi-storey book cafe provides you all these experience at one time! You could pick a book that you like, immerse yourself in the books, and take a sip of your coffee while enjoying Hangang view. What is more relaxing than this?
To get there by subway, get off at Mapo station(line 5), get out from exit 4 and walk straight for about 500m. You will see a building like this. I know the building look kind of old but the interior will surprise you!
Each floor of Check_grow
Check_grow occupies 6 floors the building: the first to third floor, 6th, 8th and 9th floor. When we visited there on 1st May, 6th floor has just been open for the first day.
9th & 8th floor : Book cafe and Terrace
If you want to use their utilize their cafe space or read the books, you need to get one drink each person at the counter in 9th floor. Other than drinks, they also serve cakes and waffles. The variety of drinks extend from coffee to ade, tea, and smoothies. The prices range between 6000 to 9000 won. It is a little bit pricy as compared to the average prices but if you consider it as the fee of utilizing the space then it is more than reasonable.
Just opposite of the ordering counter, there lies a open air terrace. If the weather is not too cold, you could choose to enjoy your coffee there while breathing the fresh air.
Otherwise, you could also enter another part in the 9th floor which is placed just beside the ordering counter. Note that before entering this mini library, you need to take off your shoes. Wide varieties of books are provided and arranged neatly in the mini library. You are free to read any of the books as long as you order your drinks. Note that the books are also for sale, so that means you could buy the books if you want and that also means you have to handle the books with extra care!
Then, a spiral stair leads you to the lower floor where you could get a seat to read the books you like. I like the place because the lights are soft and the place is designed to be cozy, making it suitable for reading.
6th floor: Check_grow Garden
What makes Check_grow Garden different from other floors is the greenness presented by the plants and flowers planted throughout the space. Also, this is a less quiet space where you could either read books or chit chat with your friends without worrying of interrupting others. SImilarly, this space is also built with transparent glass at two sides which allows you to enjoy view of Hangang and perfect lighting for a good photo shot! You could also enter the separated compartment if you need a more quiet space for reading.
3rd floor : English Library
If you want to read some English books, here you go! With similar designing concept, 3rd floor of Check_grow provides a book section specifically for English readers or people who enjoy English books. Here you can get novels, magazines, non-fictional books of wide range of genres as well as fairy tales and children’s books!
2nd floor: study cafe
Study Cafe is specifically established for those who wants to do nothing but read. 4000 won is charged for each 2-hour usage of this floor. The specialty for the study cafe is the provision of specific books that are listed in 100 books recommended by Seoul National University, 99 books recommended by KAIST, recommended books by Chicago University, as well as the must-reads for business. Moreover, you could also find many globally popular books and novels on the book shelves there.
1st floor: Babeuro
Babeuro is a Korean restaurant which serves authentic and healthy Korean traditional food like abalone pot rice, bulgogi rice, salmon and fish eggs, and chuck flap tail steak. The price range is about 13000 won per set.
Other Facilities and Service
Well, all of the spaces mentioned above are actually available for rent for any reading activities or meeting. If you want to know more about the rental fees and details, do visit their homepage.
In addition, they also host reading group in which people read certain books together at specific time so they could encourage each other to read.
Check_grow is a good place to relax your mind or to read books. Instead of a quiet library, I would prefer a book cafe because I can take my drinks with me meanwhile enjoying breathtaking view especially during sunset!