Grandfather’s Factory: Seongsu Warehouse Cafe in Seoul

Seoul’s Coolest District

Something magical happens when you step into a cafe and are greeted with a warm, welcoming smile. That instant connection made me fall in love with this place! Grandfather’s Factory is a renowned former warehouse in Seoul’s Seongsu District. The cafe has seen a surge in popularity after several appearances in K-dramas (although I can’t tell you which ones). According to the staff member with the big smile, the cafe’s name pays homage to the surrounding area. It had tons of factories and warehouses. Over time, the laborers from those plants transformed into grandfathers, who, I can only imagine, would delight in watching their grandchildren play in the treehouse that has become the cafe’s claim to fame.

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The Industrial Decor

The decor at Grandfather’s Factory is a captivating blend of natural materials, including wood, cardboard, concrete, and steel. Thankfully, they’ve preserved much of the original building’s structure, evident in the rivets protruding from the steel beams that run along the ceiling. The wooden tables, skillfully crafted into intricate shapes, appear to be one solid piece of wood. Many still bear the marks of their history, with boreholes left by termites or other creatures that once called the trees home. Other unique decor options include tree stumps, metal shop chairs, and hand-crafted cabinetry. Some of the red brick facade has been painted white opposite the interior wall of windows to the courtyard to reflect it’s light.

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The Courtyard

The wall of windows floods the interior with ample natural light, creating a vibrant ambiance as it reflects off the pristine white ceiling and walls. Outside, you’ll find colorful metal patio furniture in soft shades of pale blues, pinks, and yellows. Cascading and hanging vines lend an air of antiquity to the cafe, appearing as if they’ve been part of the establishment for generations.

In the courtyard, a black bull, reminiscent of Wall Street symbolism, stands as a centerpiece beneath the most prominent focal point, the primary draw for most cafe visitors.

Check out another beautiful cafe in Seoul called Mama Mia, inspired by the movie set in Greece.

The Treehouse

When I arrived, I noticed lots of empty seats, so I decided to visit the second floor and the treehouse before it got busy. Climb to the second floor to access the primary reason most people come to Grandfather’s Factory– the treehouse. It sits in the middle of the courtyard and can only be accessed from the patio on the second floor. It has an awesome view of the cafe from the air and a couple of people can actually sit inside. I think it’s an awesome place to enjoy on a day like this where the rain is keeping us on the fringe of the exterior spaces.

The Menu

There is a lot to love on the menu. They serve risotto, salad, pasta, desserts, coffee, beer, and wine. You can choice from entrees with steak, chicken, pork, or seafood. I chose the steak oil pasta with mushrooms, onions, and a hefty serving of sliced garlic, of course. It was delicious. I paired it with a hot peach tea to warm up these ole bones. Afterward, I enjoyed a yummy blue lemonade. The cafe also has a brick oven where they create 4 or 5 kinds of pizza– which looked great, but I’m brunching solo today, so I can only eat some of the pizza.

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After brunch, I walked around the Seongsu neighborhood a bit. I like the vibe. I noticed a few foreigners, but only a few. There are a ton of excellent cafes, shops, and restaurants to check out. This neighborhood is a hidden gem I would love to explore on my next trip to Seoul. But if you get there before me, could you comment below and share what you found?

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[KakaoMap] Grandfather’s Factory 할아버지공장
9, Seongsui-ro 7ga-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
서울시 성동구 성수이로7가길 9

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