Due to the difficulty of accessing public transportation in the KAIST campus, students have been constrained from visiting other districts of Daejeon and were limited to the Eoeun-dong and the Gung-dong area for leisure and entertainment. However, this March, the new KAIST shuttle connecting the school with Wolpyeong station and the Dunsan District was introduced to address the demands for transportation routes to the city. This month, the Culture Division of The KAIST Herald explored and picked four culturally and socially significant neighborhoods of Daejeon using only the school and public transportation systems: Jeonmin-dong, the area around City Hall station, the Government Complex region, and Eunhaeng-dong. This issue explores the social background, cultural significance, and the notable attractions - including restaurants, shops, and cafes - of each neighborhood.
Jeonmin-dong is a residential neighborhood located at the heart of Daedeok Innopolis. The Expo Apartment complexes, built in the 1990s by the consortium of construction subsidiaries of Samsung, Lotte, Daewoo, and SK groups, are located on the east side. Jeonmin-dong is adjacent to the KAIST Munji campus and the Daedeok Techno Valley.
Students can reach Jeonmin-dong by taking the Munji shuttle, which can be taken either from the Auditorium (E15), Educational Support Building (W8), or the Duck Pond. Buses are available every hour until 3:00 A.M. and every hour and a half on weekends, until 2:30 A.M.. From the Munji Campus, it is a mere 5-minute walk from the bus stop to the North Gate, which it is connected to Jeonmin-dong. It is a very accessible neighborhood from the KAIST campus, with only one bus ride required to get there from campus.
An important feature of Jeonmin-dong is its residents. Jeonmin-dong has a diverse demographic, owing to the fact that it has primary and secondary schools, a university campus, research facilities, and large apartment complexes that surround the neighborhood. There is no demographic specificity, as anyone, whether he or she may be middle-school student, a college student, or a researcher, could be a customer. Since there is no demographic specificity, Jeonmin-dong has a wide array of shops located densely in a small neighborhood, designed to cater to a wide array of customers. The shops offer a wide choice of hair salons, street foods, bars and restaurants. Surrounded by the Expo apartments is the Expo Core, a large shopping complex that sells anything from jewelry, computers, furniture, to home appliances.
Hwe-sik, conducted by members of various research facilities accounts for the bulk of the demand for bars in Jeonmin-dong and is the defining component of the drinking culture of Jeonmin-dong. Jeonmin-dong is the primary venue for these after-work gatherings for researchers of the Daedeok Innopolis. These restaurants and bars are mostly located at least a city block away from the Munji elementary, middle, and high schools. Despite the heavy demand for such restaurants and bars, the closing time of these establishments is much earlier than those of neighborhoods near KAIST.
|▲ Cafe B is popular for its music lessons and performances
Jeonmin-dong also has a wide offering of cafes in order to appeal to younger couples in the neighborhood. Café B 307308 is a brunch café located in the main street of Jeonmin-dong. It has a warm and welcoming interior, which can be best observed on a sunny Saturday morning. It offers sandwiches, a variety of brunch menus, and salads. In the evening, a variety of pasta and risottos are also available. It is a café specifically aimed at young couples and families and the menus reflect the palette of the younger generation of Koreans.
Coffeeteria is a café in Jeonmin-dong that has undergone a recent interior renovation. Re-opened just last month, Coffeeteria is a café that offers not only the traditional menus that is available at most cafes, but is also equipped with several cellos and a piano, offering cello practice lessons, free-of-charge individual practice sessions, and seminar rooms for meetings. The interior is composed of wooden finish. A concert called the Sentimental Concerts is held every Tuesday. Adhering to the classical music that is usually played as background music, the performers usually play the violin or the cello during their concerts. Coffeeteria successfully combines music and coffee by offering a wide range of group and individual activities.
Jeonmin-dong is a quiet neighborhood that provides a wide variety of restaurants and shopping opportunities. Its wide demographic has rendered the area to have a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes. Along with the fact that it is easily accessible from the main campus, it is a good neighborhood for KAIST students to spend a weekend afternoon, either with friends or as couples.