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word of mouth

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

776: Kissako
775: Zoetrope
774: Bauhaus
773: Broc&Coli
772: Respekt
770-71: Beer Garage
769: The Aquarium
768: B Bar
767: Cazadores
766: Gekkoh
765: Duranbar
764: Galali
763: Glass Dance
762: Ultra Lounge
761: 3 x 3 Dining Lounge
760: Catalan Spanish Bikini Tapa
759: Shokudo Bar Kasumigaseki
758: Stein Haus
757: Café & Bar Hideaway
756: Rhythm Café
755: The Amazon Club
754: GalaDear
753: On The Spree
752: Joshu Tokoton Sakaba
751: Shun Rolls
750: Benny’s Place
749: Sonny’s
748: Time Shower Brewery
747: The Kamiya Bar
746: Charcoal Bar Tunnel
745: Salon de Champagne Vionys
744: Ocean Deep
743: Delirium Café Reserve
742: Bar Jam
741: Piccadilly
740: The Cantina
739: Vento Bar and Grill
738: Grail
737: Architect Café
736: NOS Ebisu
735: Ushi-Tora
734: Nakame Takkyu Lounge
733: Free Factory
732: Horoyoi & Saiki
731: Beer Café Gambrinus
730: Fiesta
729: Seamus O’Hara
728: Ai Ai
727: Brown G
726: Sake Bistro W
725: Meguro Chaya Kitchen Bar
724: The Footnik Osaki
723: Swallow’s Nest Shibaura
722: Loiter
721: Time Machine
720: Cool Train
718-719: Castillo
717: Voco
716: Popeye
715: Donguri
714: WW
713: J-Pop Café
712: The Old Imperial Bar
711: Briongloid
710: Suifu
709: Bar Jam
708: Hibiya Bar
707: Planetarium Bar
706: Bar Rage
705: Forest Avenue Bar
704: Zizo Bar
703: Franz Club
702: The Aldgate
701: Elements Bar
700: The Cluriaune
699: King George
698: Grand Royal Green
697: Hachi
696: Cabaret
695: Crocodile
694: Mother’s Ruin
693: Standing Bar Joe
692: Billy Barew’s Beer Bar
691: Nidaime Hanzo
690: Patrasche
689: Club Romantico
688: Wodka Tonic
687: Zetton
686: Frigo Est
685: Trader Vic’s
684: Fuunji
683: Kuimonya 12-6
682: Nuchigusui
681: Lime
680: Cardenas Charcoal Grill
679: 73 Bar
678: Tachinomiya
677: Here Scenes
676: Bois Vert
675: Izayoi
674: The Oak Door
673: Ichido
672: The Full Monty
671: Tableaux Lounge
670: Legends
669: The Morrigan’s
668: Manpachi
667: Zipangu
666: Hare no sora no shita
665: Franziskaner Kamiyacho
664: European Beer House Cheers
663: Thunderbolt
662: Kaguwa
661: Ubcra
660: The Sad Café
659: Hijouguchi
658: Bar+dcb
657: Chano-ma Yokohama
656: Standing Lounge O
655: Saizou
654: Plate of Pie.Pop
653: Xen
652: Tower Café
651: Bottle Café
650: Tsuzuri
649: The Garuda
648: Asia de Cushion
647: Udagawa Cafe
646: Esogie
645: Yuuki-ya
644: Spain Bar Tapeo
643: Standing Bar S
642: Twenty Eight
641: Jazz Pub Michaux
640: Pub Cardinal Marunouchi
639: Shanghai Bar
638: Issui
637: Café California
636: Nakata.net Café
635: Bisty’s
634: German Beer & Wine Stein Haus
633: Dining Bar Jade
632: Bar Den Inmu
631: Waterline
630: Robutaya
629: Absolut Icebar Tokyo
628: Rock Factory
627: Jicoo
626: No Borders
625: Buri
624: Albatross G
623: Museum Café and Bar
622: Unice
621: MTV Café Studio
620: Ginza Kamadogami
619: Coopers Marunouchi
618: Eats and Meets Cay
617: Sanen Buta Zo
616: Café Java
614-615: Pandoras
613: Shichimencho Café
612: Antwerp Central
611: Stair
610: Xbox 360 Lounge
609: Tsubakido
608: Gallery éf
607: Takara
606: Sin City
605: Curtain Call
604: Franziskaner Nihonbashi
603: Oceans Café
602: DonQ Marunouchi
601: Chez Aburiya
600: Roppongi Finger
599: R gath
598: Munch-ya
597: Athlete Café S
596: Champagne Garden Lotus x Montoak
595: Veranda
594: Picador
593: Roundabout
592: Limapuluh
591: Jyu
590: The Peak lounge
589: The Rose & Crown
588: Za
587: Hills Café and Bar
586: Den Rokuen-tei
585: Hakobune
584: Trinity
583: Mako Lounge
582: Agoo
581: American Bar
580: Spuma
579: Café Baraka
578: Sakanatei
577: Akaoni
576: Bora Bora
575: German Farm Grill
574: Bar 2000
573: La Scala
572: Le Dragon Bleu
571: Belgo
570: Bane Bagus
569: Mu-Mu Nishi Shinjuku
568: Rubber Soul
567: Kamakura
566: Soul Sonic Boogie
565: Beep Forest
564: Re’cue
563: Triple Twenty
561-562: Bull
560: Kamikaze House
559: D-ray Grill & Bar
558: Nagoya Modern Bar
557: Lounge 21
556: Donzoko
555: Oasis
554: Amanis Cafe
553: Ratia
552: Quons
551: Tools
550: Kewl
549: Sononi
548: Darbre’s Bar
547: Nakamura Keita
546: Orblight Café
545: The Zen
544: Breeze of Tokyo
543: Lo-d
542: Mask
541: Obi Supper Lounge
540: Lounge
539: Insomnia Lounge Ginza
538: Chaos Lounge
537: Cantina La Fiesta
536: Juntak
535: 3mm
534: The Maple Leaf
533: Table
532: Mu-Mu
531: Zaru
530: Bon
529: Bubble3
528: Cozmo's Café and Bar
527: Jam Jam Drag on the Market
526: Espore
525: Usagiya
524: See Bar
523: Silva
522: Enyen
521: Favori
520: Rose Demode
519: Faro
518: Café Life
517: Piper’s Lounge
516: Bar Swanky
515: M Bar
514: Bar Bourbon Street
513: The Lobby
512: Vodka Bar
511: Posso Fumare?
509/10: Snodeck
508: Bandol
507: Celeb
506: Tenement
505: Clubhouse
504: House+
503: Pierrot 2
502: Azool
501: Lee Scorpion
500: Neo

Issues 499-
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by Steve Trautlein

Mako Lounge

A sophisticated Roppongi dining spot has an upstairs bar to match

Photos courtesy of Mako

One of the things we look forward to when visiting fusion restaurant Mako Tokyo is an after-dinner drink in the bar area. Situated in a mezzanine above the main floor, Mako Lounge not only offers the perfect spot to enjoy a nightcap, it even merits a trip in its own right.

Unlike the restaurant proper, which occupies a large, high-ceilinged room that’s done up in white linens and wine-red curtains, Mako Lounge is invitingly dark and plush. What the two spaces share is an atmosphere of sophistication and style—these are spots for adults to enjoy themselves over drinks and food in eye-catching surrounds. In the lounge, a luxuriant carpet runs under well-cushioned benches and smart chairs, right up to a striking, marble-backed bar. A DJ booth looks out over the restaurant below, while funky wall-mounted lamps cast a dim glow. Though not large, the room seems spacious, thanks to an airy table arrangement and uncluttered decor.

On a recent visit, the lounge’s candlelit seating areas were being put to good use by an interesting mix of well-dressed professionals. A trio of OLs giggled over cocktails, while a couple of dodgy-looking ojisan chatted up their gorgeous and expensively coiffed companions. At a long table in the center of the room, a group of foreign businessmen and their Japanese friends were having a bit of after-work fun. The unobtrusive staff flitted about the room with calm efficiency.

The menu has all the standard beers and cocktails, but true to the lounge’s roots—the proprietor, Mako Tanaka, was one of the pioneers of California cuisine—lots of quirkier fare is on offer. The usual gin-based martini gets a fanciful update in the form of a “saketini” (¥800), while dozens of other varieties, including fresh fruit (¥1,000), are also available. Offbeat food items like steamed chicken shumai (¥600) and marinated tuna and avocado bruschetta (¥600) share space with straightforward handmade pizzas (¥1,000) and soft-shell crab tempura (¥600). The reasonable prices and generous portions of these dishes, in fact, make the bar an appealing alternative to the restaurant downstairs. For the after-dinner crowd, there’s a selection of port wine (¥1,000-¥2,500), cognac (¥1,000-¥3,500) grappas (¥1,100-¥2,000), and over two dozen malt whiskeys (from ¥900).

Located at Roppongi-Itchome station in the glittery Izumi Garden Place, Mako Lounge already draws diners looking for a pre- or post-meal drink. But with a grown-up vibe and elegant interior, the bar will no doubt appeal to all comers.

5F Izumi Garden Tower, 1-6-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-5575-8055. Open Mon-Sat 6pm-2am. Nearest stn: Roppongi-Itchome, exit 2. www.jinterji.co.jp/mako

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