Have you heard? Monday, August 4 is Beer Hall Day at The Dubliners’ Irish Pub. What is Beer Hall Day, you might ask? For one day only, pints of draft beer will be sold for just ¥500. At which branch? All six of ’em! And if you can’t wait until then, stop by any of the locations (in Shibuya, Shinjuku, Akasaka, Shinagawa, Toranomon or Ikebukuro) between July 28 and August 3, and for every pint you drink, receive a ¥100 discount ticket redeemable on or after August 5.
It’s easy to grow tired of visiting the same Roppongi watering holes week after week. Opened last month, Zero Bar (1F Roppongi 410 Bldg, 4-10-5 Roppongi, Minato-ku; 03-5775-0100; www.zerobar.jp) promises something fresh—and refreshing. This new champagne bar just steps from the Tokyo Midtown complex offers a selection of over 100 bottles of bubby and wine. The small-ish space is dimly lit, with a wood counter and comfy low-back bar stools and the drinks illuminated under red lights. To find it, look for the number “0” in the bar’s ground-level window.
Up for some live jazz, pops, bossa nova, samba or chanson from leading Japanese musicians? At Boston Dreams (B1 Roppongi Five Bldg, 5-18-20 Roppongi, Minato-ku; 03-3583-3988), just off Gaien-Higashi Dori, you can enjoy three sets of live music (7:40-11pm) six days a week. Stop by during happy hour (5:30-7:30pm) and pay ¥1,000 for two drinks and popcorn, with additional drinks just ¥500. Entry starts at just ¥3,000, but mention Metropolis and get in for half-price. BJM
by Michael Jay Miller
Enjoy Stateside favorites
at this classy steakhouse pub
|Photos courtesy of Wonder
With the ban on American beef still in effect in Japan, we
wonder how authentic the experience of Lawrys The Prime
Rib restaurant in Akasaka is lately. But even if the meat
has an Australian stamp on it, the in-house watering-hole
still bears the indelible mark of the USin name at least.
The American Bar is located just to the right of Lawrys
front door, but it has its own entrance, making it easier
for those who simply want a drink to step inside without feeling
obliged to splurge on a full meal.
Peering through the open wooden blinds, we could see a black-vested
bartender working behind an empty counter. Slightly silhouetted
in front of a luminous art-deco panel, he could have passed
for a character in an Edward Hopper painting, except for the
fact that he was Japanese. Inside, warm yellow lighting and
popular melodies from the 30s enhanced the retro effect.
Basically, the American Bar is an interior designers
equivalent of a steak dinner, suggesting classiness and power.
We made our way past a counter-table with stool seating for
16 and sank into two crimson velvet chairs in the corner.
Although only two Japanese businessmen were present during
our visit, the place started to fill up with 20-somethings
towards closing time.
At first glance, the English menu seemed rather small, as
if we had stepped into a minibar on board a yacht, but there
was enough variety to quench our thirst. We skipped over the
standard cocktails (¥850-¥1,000), Robert Mondavi wines
(glass, ¥1000-¥1,300), Guinness (¥800) and Miller
beer (¥750), opting instead to order from the Lawrys
Original Cocktails list. Here, we found Cassis mixed with
everything in Tokyo, from oolong tea to soda, but the notion
of a Cassis Champagne (¥1300) sounded too decadent to
pass up. Our second choice, the Calvados Gimlet, a mix of
the namesake apple brandy, Benedictine and lime juice, had
a strong but sweet elixir-like quality.
Our initial thoughts on the bars offerings were corrected
when the waiter brought us a separate food menu. One need
not step into Lawrys restaurant proper in order to sample
items like BBQ ribs (¥950) and prime rib nigiri
sushi (¥900). We opted for smoked salmon with caviar
(¥700), which was lighter than expected: mere slices of
salmon with capers and onions on a plate, and no caviar to
be found. Perhaps it was an oversight, or a menu misprint;
we didnt ask. After all, though the waters came with
coasters, the cocktails came without.
Despite the flaws, the service was friendly and attentive.
We were seated far from the bar counter, but whenever we looked
up, someone was there to see if we needed anything. In fact,
it seems the American Bar cares about its customers more than
most pubs in town; on the bottom of the menu, in grammatically
incorrect, or perhaps drunken, English it states, We
must inform you that we can not be able to serve alcohol drinks
to those who are visiting by car. Fortunately, unlike
most bars in States, the American Bar is just a short stumble
to the train station.
1F Akasaka Twin Tower, 2-17-22 Akasaka,
Minato-ku. Open daily 5 to 11:30pm. Tel: 03-5114-8080. Nearest
stn: Tameike-Sanno or Akasaka.
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