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 Beau Miller
A sophisticated drinking den crops up where we least expect
|Photos courtesy of Japan
We began a recent evening with a meal at the always-satisfying
Thai Brasserie Erawan, perched atop the landmark Roi Building
on Gaien-Higashi Dori. Taking in serene views of Tokyo Tower,
orange hues signaling the onset of autumn, we couldnt
help but notice the tranquilitys sharp contrast with
the relentless intensity of High Touch Town below.
Somewhere within Roppongis spectrum of calm and mania
is where our next stop, Finger, has carved its niche. Recently
opened, it provides a haven for posh urbanites or the odd
sake lover with a taste for French cuisine.
We were quite taken with the ritzy bar area that we glimpsed
through the ground-level glass doors. Preferring some privacy,
though, we headed up to the second floor, which plays host
to a long, stylish sushi bar and several lounge areas. These
latter include a wood-paneled VIP section and posh semi-private
coucheswhere the bashful couple next to us had elected
to sit. Even the restrooms follow the chic design concept:
black-and-white animal prints, lots of silver detailing and
dashes of purple.
As a friend from the States remarked, Finger could be channeling
exclusive bars or lounges of New York or LA. The only thing
it lacks is the clientele; while Tokyo bars normally draw
good crowds, Finger was suspiciously empty, even for a Tuesday.
Unlike its American counterparts, though, this bar exemplifies
Japans exceedingly fine service. Where a bartender at
Chateau Marmont on Sunset might adopt an attitude of If
you come here, you should know what to get, Fingers
staff were gracious enough to maneuver us through the mostly-Japanese
The meal at Erawan had sated our appetites, so even though
a colleague raved about Fingers food, (which ranges
from sushi to elegant French fare) we moved directly to drinks.
Our first order, a sake from Yamanashi called Kudoki-jozu
(¥900), came in a 20cm-tall glass. The drinks name
means pick-up artist, and yes, we were entranced.
The delicate and subdued tastes of fine sake are often enhanced
when served chilled, and in this case the aroma of green apples
was coaxed out. Some among us found it too sweet; others discovered
a welcome respite from the hard-hitting sake found on menus
of your average, cheap neighborhood izakaya.
Hot on its heels was an atsukan Hakkaisan (¥900), hailing
from Niigata in Japans northwest. Slightly warmed, the
drink had smooth textures that had us momentarily longing
for wintersand heated sakesinevitable
The waiter then suggested a round of Fingers signature
drink (¥900), a blindingly sweet blend of half a dozen
liqueurs and exotic fruit juices creating a swirl of purplestriking,
paired with its solid silver coaster. Our image colors,
he remarked with pride.
While Finger is not, perhaps, the areas most conducive
establishment for meeting people, it is a rare spot to unwind,
rev up a night, or sip well-crafted drinks in eye-catching
surroundsall in a part of town not known for its refinement.
But sometimes the apple does fall far from the tree.
3-9-8 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Tel:
03-3402-6661. Open Mon-Sat 6pm-5am. Nearest stn: Roppongi,
exit 3. www.j-dininglink.co.jp
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