Fantasy Romance Xianxia Anime Sci-fi Historical WNMTL
Home > Story of a Big Player from Gangnam

37 Preparation for Starting a New Business 1

 Gun-Ho was naturally not very extroverted.

Moreover, during his secondary school years, he didn't do well in school and his family was poor. That made him more shy and timid back then, and he didn't have many friends accordingly.

After graduating from high school, he went to a college in the countryside before he had to drop out of college because he couldn't afford to pay for his tuition and living expenses. He later went to a cyber college while planning to transfer to another four-year college. He didn't transfer to any college afterward though, but instead, he studied for the level-9 government job exam for quite a while. While Gun-Ho was trying all of above, he alienated the friends he had at that time even though there were only a few.

He then started working in a factory while moving around from Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province to Pocheon and to Yangju. At that time Gun-Ho almost had no friend. Jong-Suk who also worked in a factory with Gun-Ho was his only friend.

To make things worse social life wise, Gun-Ho got a sudden windfall of 500 million won when he worked in accounting in a company in Dunpo, Asan. Because Gun-Ho couldn't say he was blameless for acquiring that money, he developed the tendency to hide things and the thought that earning money was the top priority. This might explain why he became reclusive and reluctant to meet people even after he had made a big fortune and become one of the big players from Gangnam.

Back to the story, Gun-Ho was still going through hard times in his life.

"Suk-Ho Lee is running a bar at Gyeongridan Street? I remember him bragging about going to the Military Academy. Now he is serving alcohol? It's really hard to predict someone's future."

Gun-Ho had a bad memory about Suk-Ho. They had a bad fight when they were in high school; well, actually it was not a fight, but Gun-Ho got beaten up by Suk-Ho.

"I was about to leave for home after school when it suddenly began to rain. At that moment, Suk-Ho claimed that the umbrella I was holding was his and took it from me; I am certain it was mine. So we started fighting, but Suk-Ho was way bigger than me. He beat me up and gave me a pretty bad black eye. All the classmates around us took his side. When I got home afterward, I was all wet because of the rain and I cried so hard because I was upset. It still remains vivid in my memory. I am sure Suk-Ho will be very surprised if I go see him."

Gun-Ho chuckled while getting on the bus no. 152 from the Noryangjin bus station.

"I will have to get off at the Samgakji Station and take the subway from there. It's not far from here, and it's not even noon yet."

After he changed the subway line, he arrived at Itaewon Town.

"According to my Internet search earlier, this seems to be the way to get to Suk-Ho's bar. But what is this? A hillside road?"

When he approached the hillside road, there was a sign.'Ministry of National Defense Service Support Corps.'

"Is this the building of the Central Army Corps of the Army? Well, the building doesn't seem that good, so does the street."

Once he passed by the building, bizarre business signs began to appear.

"Salon de Earth, The Code, BISTECCA... I have no idea what those words even mean."

Gun-Ho had to wander the Gyeongridan Street for a while before he could find Suk-Ho's bar that Jong-Suk indicated.

"Jong-Suk should have told me to look for the Itaewon Community Service Center to find Suk-Ho's bar. It's right here."

The bar had a vague sign and drawing on its front, while Gun-Ho was not sure whether it was a restaurant or a bar. He tried to open the door. It was locked; the bar was not open yet.

"They open late probably because they serve alcohol."

Gun-Ho decided to go to Itaewon Town and have lunch there and come back, hoping that the bar would be open by then.

"How much would it cost to open a bar like this? It doesn't seem to be large and its location is a little off the main street. The initial cost to start this type of business wouldn't be that high... Let's have lunch first in Itaewon Town."

Itaewon Town was situated next to Gyeongridan Street. It was a well-developed town with stores, restaurants, bars, etc. It was also crowded; Gun-Ho could find many westerners and African Americans as well.

"How much would these roadside stores cost to open? Probably expensive, huh? If I have a store like them, would I be able to handle it? I've never run my own business before. I should be extra careful."

Gun-Ho had a pork cutlet for lunch. After lunch, he wandered around Itaewon Town while browsing shops there.

"How much would a clothing store like this make per day? All they have to pay is the rent and labor..."

Gun-Ho looked at the clock on his smartphone. It was ten past two.

"I wonder if Suk-Ho came to his bar and open it already."

Gun-Ho headed back to Gyeongridan Street.

"Comparing to Itaewon Town, there is not much traffic here and the street extends all the way over the hill. I am not sure why this street is so popular."

Gun-Ho arrived at Suk-Ho's bar again. The door was open. Someone was organizing trash bags in front of the bar. It was Suk-Ho. He looked a bit different, but it was Suk-Ho for sure.

"Hey, Suk-Ho. Long time no see."

Hearing someone call his name, Suk-Ho lifted his head and looked at Gun-Ho. He was blinking his eyes slowly and he didn't seem to recognize Gun-Ho.

"I'm Gun-Ho Goo. Your classmate from high school."

"Oh, Gun-Ho. I didn't recognize you. You used to be skinny back then. You gained some weight, man."

"You gained some weight too. I heard you are running a bar here from Jong-Suk."

"Jong-Suk? "

"Yeah, his parents used to have Seolleongtang (an ox bone soup) restaurant in our town."

"Oh, him! That flippant kid!"

"Yup, that's him."

"Do you work here in Gyeoangridan Street too?"

"No. I am planning to start my own business. I am here hoping to get some advice from you."

"From me? Well, come inside."

Gun-Ho followed Suk-Ho inside the bar. The bar had about 12 tables. Several chairs were still scattered and they hadn't finished cleaning yet.

"I was about to clean the bar. It was a bit messy now. Please have a seat here. I will bring some green tea."

Gun-Ho sat on a chair and looked around. A large picture of a western singer holding a guitar and a picture of an African American singer were hanging on the wall with some other pictures.

"They are so distracting."

Suk-Ho brought green tea.

"Hey, it has been a long time. The last time I saw you was in high school, and it has been more than ten years since we graduated."

"Yeah, I think so."

"I heard that you were working in a factory in Pocheon or somewhere."

"Right. I used to work in a factory in Pocheon and Asan, and I recently quit the job."

"You did? Do you have something you want to do on your mind?"

"I haven't decided yet. How large is this bar?"

"It's 23 pyung. Length should be 11 meters and width should be 7 meters."

"How is the business?"

"It has been over a year since I opened this bar. I struggled a lot in the beginning, but the business got better lately as the sales have increased."

"You have 12 tables. It must cost you a lot to start the bar with this size. How much did you spend?"

"It cost me around 150 million won."

"150 million won? Wow. You had saved a lot of money to start your business."

"How can possibly someone at our age can have 150 million won? I have partners, my two friends. One has another job, so he just invested money in this bar. The other friend and I run this bar by actually working here, so we don't have to spend additional money to hire someone."

"If three people invested in it, then each came with 50 million won?"

"Yeah, that's correct. I borrowed the money from my parents since I hadn't had any money saved up at that time."

"If I remember correctly, your father was a soldier in the army. Did he work here in Gyeongridan Street?"

"No, he served in a unit in the front, so not this area. He is already discharged from the army and he was a colonel."

"I see."

"So, what are you planning? How much are you going to invest to start?"

"I am thinking of opening a restaurant. I don't have much money either, but there is someone who is willing to invest..."

"I had been everywhere before I started this bar. I went to the area around Hongik University, Konkuk University, and Garosugil Road in Sinsa Town, Gangnam."

"It is expensive to open a business in those areas, right?"

"Don't get me started. Even if you have 200-300 million won, you can only get a tiny space in an isolated back street. Moreover, there are too many restaurants in our country."

While Gun-Ho and Suk-Ho were talking, Suk-Ho's business partner came in the bar.