Soon Enough, a Korean Spa's Expected to Get Downtown Dallas All Wet

Because, really, what in the wide world of sweating is more Dallas than Inspa's "L.E.D. Sauna Room"?

The New York Times on Sunday reviewed the swanky Inspa -- better known as "A Funhouse Floating in a Korean Spa," located in Queens. And why should that peak Dallasites’ interest, given it's more than a few miles from our aching feet and stiff shoulders.

Because Steve Chon -- the architect and owner of Inspa, who sunk $25 million into the five-story water wonderland -- told The Times he plans to open 19 of these behemoths around the country, the first of which will go right here in Dallas. Which prompted many questions at Unfair Park HQ, some of which were answered this week by Inspa's attorney, Eric Palatnik, who tells us the expansion into downtown Dallas is “part of a larger plan.” And what, precisely, is that plan?

“Our goal is to find ethnically diverse, large population bases," Palatnik tells Unfair Park. “Dallas is an obvious choice. The climate is suitable and it can accommodate a large number of people.”

Inspa would like to break ground this summer on a downtown construction site, he says, but negotiations for a location have not yet been finalized. The Dallas Inspa will follow the exact model of its New York elder, as the jimjilbang -- or, 24-hour Korean bathhouse -- has been very successful transitioning itself internationally. Logic follows it would be successful intra-nationally.

The jimjilbang is a family-centered sauna, spa and restaurant; Inspa is a jimjilbang on Barry Bond’s flaxseed oil. There are separate men’s and women’s pools, massages, facials, several separate igloo-shaped saunas made of everything from pure gold to salt scraped right off the Himalayas, and two outside swimming pools with 40 different massage possibilities. Let’s also not forget the restaurant and the food court. Everything is wrapped in chic décor reminiscent of any club I’m not cool enough to know about.

One big drawback, though. No booze. Chon told The Times that this is because, “there are females in same area, and when men have a couple of shots, they’ll do anything.” Amen, brother. --Spencer Campbell

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky