Nekooters, Seoul

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New ‘cosplay bar’ trend leaves police wondering what to do

March 11, 2005 ㅡ From the outside, the facade of the restaurant in the Gangnam district of Seoul looks like any other. Inside is a far different story.
Ten women in their 20s are hustling drinks to customers, but it is how they are dressed that is eye-opening. In bikini tops and miniskirts, the girls in the bar are part of a surging trend among upscale watering holes in Seoul.
Called “sexy bars” or “bikini bars,” the establishments are popping up in Seoul at a rate that is causing headaches for police. Overall, there are reportedly more than 20 sexy bars in the Yeoksam and Apgujeong areas alone.
The drinking establishments have begun placing online ads showing girls in bikinis. Others feature the bar hostesses in lingerie.
These are “cosplay bars,” a term which combines the words, "costume’"and “play.” At some pubs, the waitresses dress in school uniforms, running gear and in costumes redolent of pop stars and cartoon characters.
The problem for police is that many of the cosplay bars are registered as simple restaurants under food and health laws. The police are now trying to figure what to do about the violators.
“Unless you’re running a licensed bar, you can’t have women serving drinks. That’s illegal,” said a police official. “But we just can’t be there the moment the girls at those alleged bars pour drinks. That’s the problem.”
Although the women at the bars dress provocatively, there is apparently no physical contact with male customers and no sexually-charged shows. The female bartenders are not entirely naked, thus making it more difficult for the police to press misdemeanor charges.
The circumstances are reminiscent of the Hooters chain in the United States. Hooters angered many conservative communities, and especially feminist groups, by introducing restaurants and bars that featured busty waitresses in short-shorts.


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/yeah if I remember right there was a story about these too…
//But there is also