A nondescript, inconspicuous and drab-looking mall, the Cheonggye Plaza hardly inspires a second look.
Yet, this place that the anyone hardly knew shot to international stardom in 2021, becoming a place that K-drama fans worldwide feel a warm connection to.
In a span of months from 2020 to 2021, the Cheonggye Plaza was featured, not just by one Korean drama, but by three Korean dramas in consecutive fashion — True Beauty/Yeoshingangrim/여신강림 (2020-21), Vincenzo/빈센조 (2021) and Move To Heaven/무브 투 헤븐: 나는 유품정리사입니다 (2021).
Cheonggye Plaza first cameo-ed on True Beauty, which was aired on tvN (December 2020 to February 2021). Based on a webtoon of the same name, True Beauty is the story of a high school girl who has mastered the art of make-up to portray a beautiful appearance while struggling with an inferior complex about her looks internally.
In episode 1 of True Beauty, the rooftop of Cheonggye Plaza became the scene where Im Ju-kyeong attempted to end her life after facing unbearable bullying and discrimination at school. Fortunately, she was saved in the nick of time to continue the story in the 16-episode series.
In Vincenzo, the Cheonggye Plaza was fictionally referred to as "Geumga Plaza", which, together with its tenants and vaunted gold bars in a vault, form the heart and soul of the drama.
Without revealing too much of the plot, the story revolves arouund Vincenzo Cassano (Song Joong-ki) an Italian-based lawyer and mafia consigliere who returns to South Korea to ostensibly transact a property (Geumga Plaza), while secretly trying to recover a hoard of gold bars stored in an underground vault that is securely hidden within Geumga Plaza.
Most of the warm-hearted, memorable moments of the Korean drama centered around Vincenzo and his relationships with the tenants of Geumga Plaza, from the Jipuragi Law Firm to the Nanyak Temple, Areuno Italian restaurant, Jeil Dry Cleaners, Yeongho Snack Bar, ByeBye Balloon travel agency, Mr. Pawnshop, Destiny Piano School and Go Step Dance Studio.
Move To Heaven is a Korean drama that sheds light on the unusual profession of disposing and passing on belongings and articles left behind by a deceased person. Cheonggye Plaza played a minor role as a building that houses an underground, illegal boxing arena.
It was featured as "Cheonggye Plaza" itself in episode 4 of Move To Heaven (37:30 minute mark), where Yoon Na-moo (Hong Seung-hee) followed Jo Sang-koo (Lee Je-hoon) to uncover his shady side and the trail ended at Cheonggye Plaza which Jo Sang-koo entered to access the illegal boxing arena in the basement for his fight event.
Cheonggye Plaza is generally a multi-purpose building with a mall filled with electric shops and an apartment block. It features two open overpasses, both of which are linked to Sewoon Plaza.
The actual address is 162 Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea 서울특별시 중구 청계천로 160 (산림동 207-1) and it is a mere 4-minute walk from Euljiro 4-ga Station [을지로4가역], Seoul Subway Line 2/5, Exit 3.