Garosugil ― the tree-lined, shop-packed street in Sinsa-dong, Seoul ― has been a hotspot for years.

After the initial wave of businesses set up shop on the main thoroughfare, a profusion of establishments, boutiques and other businesses branched out into neighboring streets flanking both sides of the main street.

At first, the whole mass was referred to as Garosugil, then it got so big that the side streets took on a name of their own ― Serosugil.

With practically every nook and cranny taken up by an enterprise, one might think that Serosugil is already at maximum capacity, but a new crop of eateries and cafes are proving that theory wrong. Apparently, there is always room for more.

Take one sweeping look down those streets, new establishments are still springing up everywhere, with construction for foreign food chains like the prominent Italy-based Konopizza well underway.

Konopizza Korea vice president Kim Say-gyu summed up the impetus behind opening the first South Korean outlet of the global pizza cone franchise on the side streets, not the main avenue of the area, when he said: “Garosugil is morphing into a fashion street, Serosugil into a cafe and food spot.”

“Food and beverage (businesses) are going into Serosugil,” he added.

Kim envisions a sort of dual-division, with fashion at the forefront of Garosugil and Serosugil manning the gastronomic side of things.

Yoon Jin-sook, who is handling PR for the newly-minted restaurant-gallery-shop complex S+, voiced a similar opinion.

“Garosugil has some restaurants but it is more of a shopping stop.”

Yoon explained that S+ opened in Serosugil to give customers the sensation of escaping to a quiet, peaceful hideaway.

Oh Si-jung, who recently opened juice bar-and-dessert cafe Le Pure in Serosugil, also cited the tranquil vibe of the area as a reason behind why she chose to open yet another establishment (her cafe chain 5Cijung’s Sinsa-dong store is also in the vicinity) there.

Quieter is right.

If Garosugil ― with its mix of boutiques, outlets, fashion stores and eateries ― is teeming to the nines with human traffic on most any given day, Serosugil moves at a significantly slower pace and requires more footwork on the part of the visitor when navigating the lattice of narrower and more intricate streets.

“Being harder to find, isn’t that both a strength and weakness for Serosugil?” Newly-opened Lay Bricks Coffee Roasters’ food manager Kim Se-hyun said.

Kim said he heard that there were a lot of people who liked making the effort to find new eateries and cafes, and it helps that there are a slew of newbies to give these adventurous souls more to discover.

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