August 17, 2022

Seoul gentrification forces closure of landmark Pyongyang cold noodle restaurant

Founded by daughter of Korean War refugee, Eulji Myeonok introduced locals to signature North Korean dish for decades

On a hot muggy summer day, dozens of people stood in line outside the lone restaurant on a vacant street for one last refreshing bowl of perhaps the most famous Pyongyang cold noodles in Seoul.

The 37-year-old restaurant Eulji Myeonok closed its doors on Saturday, 72 years to the day after North Korea’s invasion started the Korean War. Located in Euljiro, a once-bustling district of alleyways, small workshops and eateries, the restaurant was a little piece of Pyongyang in the city. On the wall, black-and-white photos of Pyongyang and decades-old maps of North Korea reminded visitors of the owners’ roots.