Miguel Angel

Miguel Angel/BartenderOccupation:
Time in Japan:
11 years

Where are you from?
Barcelona, Spain.

What brought you to Japan?
Japanese women.

What is it about Japanese women?
I' been asking myself and I just don't know. I dated a few when I was still living in Spain and one of them brought me here.

What did you do when you first arrived?
I got a job as a bartender in Roppongi. It's in my blood because everyone in my family owns or manages bars. I remember my father smacked me in the face and made me get behind the bar counter when I was seven years old, so basically I was sort of bartending since then. My first job was washing cups and glasses.

How long have you had Cafe Ole?
Two years now.

Tell us about the place.
It's a bar where I make people happy as much as I can. I make everyone happy by providing all kinds of services. For example, if someone wants to play cards, I'll play cards with them; if someone wants to get drunk, I have plenty of booze; if they want to hear funky music, I have "The Funky Chicken." Cafe Ole is a Spanish bar. Many people think a Spanish bar is full of flamenco dancers, Gaudi art and so on. But a bar in Spain looks just like this, so I want people to know that.

Wasn't it hard opening up a bar in Tokyo?
Tell me about it!

What did you have to do?
Lie. About everything

Where do you go first?
It's really complicated and a very long struggle. You need to acquire and submit five licenses. The first one is a license that says you are allowed to serve food and drinks and that you are the main person responsible. This is my favorite one because it's a Lucifer red color. The second license is the one you get from the Department of Sanitation. The third is from the fire department. The fourth is the one you get from the police. You have to tell them you are running a bar and not a club. They might ask why people are dancing and you just tell them that they are drunk. They give you an after hours license. The fifth and last one is the contract you make with the landlord. It's really tough in the beginning. I had to do so many things my head was spinning. But once you finish, no one will bother you as long as you pay your taxes.
What's the best thing about Cafe Ole?
The great atmosphere based on the people that come. I'm a living witness to the characters that come here and they are all very, very interesting. There are no bad people here-maybe because I'm right near a police box, I don't know-everyone is really nice.
What are you planning to do for New Year's Eve?
Well, my bar will be open and hopefully it'll be packed with the Y2K-Proof New Year's Eve Bash, but right before the clock strikes 12, I'm going to sneak up to the roof because it's romantic, maybe with a girl, and have a cigarette. I don't know which girl yet but I still have six days to find one. Cafe Ole is Y2K-proof so I'm planning on not having any problems. I just bought a new smoke machine, so hopefully I'll get that working for New Year's.
What do you like about Japan?
I like the Japanese female theme. 360 degrees female theme.
What was your weirdest experience in Japan?
One time, four of my friends and I were drunk and we were all riding on one scooter. The police came and shoved us in their police car. Then, suddenly, one of my friends puked. It was like a chain reaction because then all of us puked, one by one, inside the car. The police stopped the car, threw us out and started hitting and kicking us, then just left us there on the street. It was weird and unbelievable because I thought this was against the law, I wanted to sue them but, you know, they're the police, so...
How do you lead a happy life in Japan?
Everyone should define their own happiness so, for me, I just know I know nothing.

Contact Miguel (after 8:30pm) at Cafe Ole: 03-3200-2249 or see

Miguel Angel spoke to TC Editorial Team.

Do you know an interesting person in Tokyo? If so, email us at

360: Gustavo Marchesi
Professional tango dancer
355: Alec McAulay
352/3: Mary Frenzel
Professional singer / songwriter, bandleader & voice instructor
350: Kate Smurthwaite
Bond analyst and aspiring novelist
349: Tim Spangler
Recreational Equipment, Inc.
348: Robin Rozzell
Tribal Nation Security
347: Marco Invernizzi
Bonsai artist
346: Charles E McJilton
345: Chris Chavez
344: Donna Burke
Singer and narrator
343: Dennis Sun
Artist, freelance graphic design and illustrator
342: Martin Hope Berry
Natural food shop owner
341: Donald James Berry
Technical Adviser
340: Amy Jorrisch
Tokyo International Players
339: Anthony Al-Jamie Ph.D.
Education consultant and journalist
338: Joel Silverstein
President of Outback Steakhouse Japan
337: Neal Dauber
Termite and Pest Control Operator
336: Marcus Spurrell
CEO of No Mass Media, Internet Co.
335: Stefan Fanselow
Flight Instructor
334: Colleen Lanki
Theater Artist
333: Ben Leibson
Scuba Diver
332: Bernard Yu
Executive Director of TELL
331: Hayden "Hay-chan" Majajas
Informations Systems Manager
330: Alistair McLachlan
BootsMC Finance manager
329: Ronald Lee Davis
Missionary / Teacher
328: Ed Durbrow
327: Isabelle Maranda
Marketing Coordinator
326: Brian Marcus
Food & Beverage Director at Tokyo American Club
325: David Baran
Managing Partner, Compass Partners
324: Murali Kupusami
Furla Tea & Coffee Owner/Model
323: Angela Jones
Fire Dancer
322: Tim Tsang
Coordinator for International Relations (CIR)
321: Chris Monnier
320: David Snyder
President of Rising Crane Sports Consultants, Inc.
319: Juliet Hindell
BBC's Tokyo Correspondent
318: Sid Lloyd
Football team captain
317: Niels Frederik Walther
Chef for the Danish Ambassador
316: Jonathan Katz
Jazz musician and composer
315: Yoichi Hayase
President, True Travel, K.K.
314: Ira Bolden
Program Manager
313: Benjamin Gurnsey
Corporate Communications at Sony Computer
312: Dr Jonna D. Douglass, PhD
Clinical Psychologist and Family Therapist
311: Roy Kilner
Izakaya Manager
310: Neil Day
Senior Software Research Engineer
309: Stuart Ablett
Sakaya Operator
308: Maggie Tai Tucker
Animal Trainer
307: Carmine Cozzoline
Restaurant Owner/Chef
306: Alison Noonan
305: Kevin Meyerson
Rainbow Japan Inc. President
304: Randy McGraw
DirecTV Marketing Manager
303: Roy Ron
302: Antonio Plozay-Liberatore
Economist/TV Talent
300: Miguel Angel

Issues 300-360
Issues 250-299

Issues 150-199
Issues 138-149