Demolition of the Sea Village food stall village behind Haeundae Beach

The food stall village behind Haeundae Beach, where stars from the Busan International Film Festival and conglomerate heads once visited to enjoy the ‘romance of the night sea,’ has now become a memory.

According to Haeundae-gu officials, the merchants at the Sea Village food cart village closed their businesses on the night of the 25th. Demolition work using heavy equipment began the following morning, and most of the construction is expected to be completed by the 26th.

The Sea Village food market in Haeundae Beach

The Sea Village food market started operations in the early 1960s. By the 1980s, the stalls lined up along the beach, forming a well-known food stall village. However, as unlicensed food stalls proliferated, frequent crackdowns and forced demolitions occurred, causing numerous challenges. In November 2001, extensive renovations were undertaken in preparation for international events such as the World Cup and the Busan Asian Games, and the merchants moved to the current location behind Haeundae Beach.

At its peak, the food stall village boasted up to 70 stalls and quickly gained fame as a popular spot for stars visiting the Busan International Film Festival. Many celebrities, including Tang Wei, Jang Dong-gun, Lee Jung-jae, and Son Ye-jin, visited, and Shinsegae Vice Chairman Yong-jin Jeong went viral by posting on social media about a specific stall in the village.

However, as the village became a symbol of the night sea, issues such as high prices and unsanitary food conditions came to light, leading to ongoing controversies. In the end, a series of complaints were filed with the district office in 2021, labeling it an illegal facility. After discussions with the merchants, it was agreed to demolish the village this year following a grace period of two and a half years.

On the afternoon of the 25th, demolition of the Sea Village food stall village behind Haeundae Beach in Haeundae-gu, Busan, was underway. This food stall village, which began in the 1980s and gained fame as a spot visited by celebrities and conglomerate heads, has now disappeared into history due to issues like high prices and unlicensed facilities.

Haeundae-gu plans to initially use the area as a public parking lot after the demolition. Later, they plan to explore ways to utilize it as a space for residents and tourists.