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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 Nina Uchida

Athlete Café S

This undersized Gaienmae bar's got game

Photos courtesy of Scandinavia

The extent of our enthusiasm for team sports goes just far enough to support Ichiro and Co. of our US hometown’s baseball team, the Seattle Mariners. (Still, their performance this year makes me rethink that as well.) So normally, a sports bar would not be one of our top choices for an after-work watering hole.

But a recent visit to Gaienmae’s Athlete Café S introduced us to a different kind of sports bar—one that emphasizes more the athleticism and “star quality” of individual players as opposed to the “my team is gonna kick your sorry excuse for a club’s behind” side of sports.

As the name suggests, this is not so much a sports bar as a modern café/lounge that happens to cater to sports enthusiasts. On a recent summer evening as our group stepped in through the tall glass doors, the coziness of the space was immediately apparent. Within the gleaming all-white interior, a snug counter that fit no more than six or seven bar stools took up the left-hand side while a row of small, sleek tables and chairs occupied the right. On the walls hung an impressive display of autographed uniforms and portraits of sports stars. Two large flat-screen TVs, one behind the bar and one at the far end of the room, provide the entertainment. We had just settled in to one of the tables when things really got rocking: In true Tokyo fashion, a mild earthquake stopped the action midway through that night’s Swallows-Carp game that was playing on screen.

The drink menu offered a good list of never-fail bar favorites:draft beers (¥600), several varieties of shochu (¥600) and sours (¥600), including the refreshing shi-qua-sa sour made with the small green citrus fruit from Okinawa. A closer look at the menu revealed another big difference from a typical sports bar. There is a long list of original “Athlete Design Drinks” (all ¥600—do we detect a trend here?) as well as a good variety of fresh-squeezed fruit juices (¥450-¥550) and protein shakes (¥550-¥600) that rival the best health spas. Golfer Michiko Hattori’s “Birdie Rush!” is a honey, apple and ginger tea served hot or cold; Seattle Mariners (go team!) pitcher Shigetoshi Hasegawa’s “Shiggy’s Spirits” combines banana and that ubiquitous sports drink ingredient kuen-san—better known in English simply as citric acid. They certainly put a new spin on the toast “drinking to your health.”

While some folks might argue that anything with the words “amino peptide” and “collagen” have no business appearing on a sports bar’s drink menu, this really isn’t that kind of place. As long as you keep that thought in mind, it’s a fun and relaxed spot to enjoy a few drinks and catch that night’s game on TV, as well as to appreciate the physical abilities that rightly earn so many athletes their “star” status.

After downing a couple of the designer drinks, one may feel genki enough to shell out the cash to buy some of the memorabilia that lines the walls—as one of our fellow customers apparently was, claiming a framed photo of Tiger Woods for a clean ¥200,000. Cheers, indeed.

3-41-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-5413-7005. Open Mon-Sat 11am-11pm. Nearest stn: Gaienmae, exit 3. www.cafe-s.net


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