Makgeolli (rice wine) is a traditional Korean commoners’ drink. Nowadays, makgeolli places in Jeonju have been enjoying nation-wide popularity due to their atmosphere, variety, price, and abundant tasty dishes.
Then, where to visit in Jeonju to experience makgeolli? Today I’ll introduce the oldest makgeolli jumak (tavern) in Jeonju Hanok Village, Chunnyunnuri Bom.
Chunnyunnuri Bom, helping the local elders explore their second chapter in life
Chunnyunnuri Bom is a makgeolli tavern on the north of Gyeonggijeon Palace in the Hanok Village. The place is run by a local seniors’ club to provide jobs to the local elders. Thus, all the employees of this place are over 60 years old. Since Jeonju is famous for food and the best recipes are usually grandma’s recipies, I already had huge expectations for the comfort food of Chunnyunnuri Bom.
About the name Chunnyunnuri Bom, ‘Chunnyun’ is from the slogan of Jeonju City, ‘Chunnyun Jeonju’ (indicating that Jeonju’s history spans over a millennium). ‘Nuri Bom’ means ‘springtime returns radiantly,’ indicating that the elders enjoy the second springtime of life.
A table of neat and tasty dishes with a brass kettle of makgeolli
The exterior of Chunnyunnuri Bom is a hanok building. Inside, it’s pretty wide, elegant, and cozy.
Typical makgeolli tavern in Jeonju serve all sorts of dishes with a kettle of makgeolli to the point that the table literally groans. However, the makgeolli table of Chunnyunnuri Bom is quality over quantity – all the dishes are elegant, delicate, and motherly.
▲ A kettle of makgeolli with basic dishes
▲ A table of makgeolli
Each order of additional makgeolli kettle will spread out new dishes on the table (you may also order the dishes separately), which is typical Jeonju style. I recommend mixing a bowl of rice and seaweed crumbs with the soy sauce marinated crab, a dish offered with the second makgeolli kettle.
On the wall, it says Jeonju makgeolli dazes people four times. One is “dazed by the delightful atmosphere, dazed by its flavor, dazed by generous dishes, and dazed by the cheap price and friendliness.” I also ordered a table of makgeolli to enjoy all it has to offer.
A great place to bring your friends and family
If your friends and family members are visiting, they might have high expectations for the famous makgeolli table of Jeonju. Chunnyunnuri Bom is suitable for occasions as such, because the place is not only reasonably priced, but the atmosphere and flavors of dishes and drinks are excellent.
According to a local senior club official, “Through the public enterprises for the local elders, each earn on average 200,000 won (around US$ 200) per month. However, the elderly people these days are still mentally and physically vigorous. Therefore, the elders employed by Chunnyunnuri Bom earn more in terms of both wage and socialization.”
▲ Tofu snacks and Hangwa (Korean traditional sweets) made by the elderly people
Although they are mothers and grandmothers at home, they seemed to be very happy about being able to use their culinary skills in the workplace. Wearing pink modernized Hanbok (traditional Korean costume), they were busy making dishes and serving the clients. The atmosphere of both the kitchen and the hall were very lively.
The Hanok building and the tasty dishes of Chunnyunnuri Bom reminded me of my mother residing in the countryside. The tavern also serves meals without makgeolli.
A bowl of makgeolli, tasty dishes, traditional atmosphere, and friendly service of Chunnyunnuri Bom will complete your visit to Jeonju Haonk Village!
Hanok Village Jumak Chunnyunnuri Bom
Address: 38-8 Gyeonggijeon-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju
(open from 4PM / closed on Sundays)