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499: AGAVE
498: Miss Sixty Café
497: The Pink Cow
496: Cantik
495: Billiard Bar Cosmo
494: Soma
493: Hajime
492: Rm.39
491: Coopers
490: Bar Nemesis
489: Franziskaner Bar & Grill
488: NOS
487: Diego
486: Sekirei
485: Bonny Butterfly
484: So Ra Si O
483: Maduro
482: Space Punch
481: Cento Cose
480: Bamboo
479: Heartland
478: Sign
477: Yoshino
476: Omamori Cafe
475: So Bar
474: Traumaris
473: Naka Naka
472: Tsuki no Akari
471: Bar
470: These
469: Atomic Heart Mother
468: Soft
467: Milano Bar
466: Mother
465: Omocha
464: Insomnia 2
463: Lucusfloor
462: Pulse
461: Mahna Mahna
460: Ten
459: Trees'
457/8: Mayu
456: Lounge Sinner
454: Ja Ja Bar
453: See
452: Republica
451: Shanghai Bar
450: Tsuki no Kura

Issues 500+
Issues 449-
Issues 399-


by Carlo Niederberger


The afterword on the last page of the menu at library lounge These reads, “We like to think that getting to know books is just as important as getting to know people.” Indeed, the opportunity to get to know books abounded. Old copies of “Egoiste,” one with a naked Gerard Depardieu on the cover, sat on mahogany bookshelves near the entrance, and a Macintosh desktop was planted on a solid hardwood table next to stacks of books about the Rolling Stones, the designs of Leonardo da Vinci and other works of architecture, photography and pop culture. Solitary wooden chairs sat in between shelves for those who wanted to immerse themselves in all the literature, but we decided to relive our college-day antics and found a table in a room full of books where we could chat instead of study. Classical jazz and chansons francaises set a studious mood, and a petite brass lamp cast a soft, golden glow our way, allowing us to glance through a copy of “Beat Generation—Glory Days in Greenwich Village” before the waiter arrived carrying a bowl of fruit. Smiling at the perplexed look on our faces, he explained that we were to make a selection, and then the bartender would shake up a cocktail (¥1,200) using our picks. The blackcurrant and kiwi fruit drinks that arrived shortly afterwards were an excellent blend of Caribbean rum, fresh juice and chunks of our choices that had us eating our tangy potions rather than sipping them.

The fruity concoctions seemed to be for first timers, since we were the only patrons using spoons. Everyone else was sipping whiskey from the bar’s extensive list of wines and spirits(all ¥1,200), and just as in any library, all seemed to come from different walks of life. Some were middle-aged and suited, others younger and shabbily dressed, but all seemed to enjoy languishing in this artsy, arboreal hole in Nishi-Azabu. Black and white photos and a Calvados (¥900) and Paul Giraud Tradition Cognac (¥1,200) fueled our conversation late into the night, and we were delighted to catch a glimpse of a tropical fish aquarium on our way to the rest room, and discover a bookshelf that magically opened revealing another, cobble stone-floored room beyond.

When the crowds began to thin, we returned our pile of publications back to their places and made a mental bookmark to return for another chapter.

Open noon-4am Mon-Sat, closed Sun. 2F, 2-13-19 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku. Tel: 5466-7331. Nearest stn: Nogizaka.

Photo credit: Nobby Kealy