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 Steve Trautlein
This chill-friendly downtown spot offers inexpensive drinks
and excellent food
|Photos by Tom Boechat
Part bakery, part bar and part restaurant, DonQ
Marunouchi is the perfect place to have an after-work drink
or a light meal. And while the casual space may not warrant
a special trip or win any awards for fashionable design, it
does offer a congenial atmosphere in an area of town not known
for its vibrant nightlife.
On a recent visit, we were surprised to find ourselves surrounded
by a diverse crowdwe would have thought, given DonQs
business-district location, that wed be up to our elbows
in salarymen. A group of suits did in fact occupy one of the
raised tables toward the front, but the other seats were taken
up by couples, pairs of young women, and a large mixed party
along the back wall.
Eschewing the wonderful-looking pastries that greeted us at
the entrance, we instead found a seat and ordered a nama chu
(¥500) and a glass of DonQs light and fruity house
merlot (¥500). An extremely pleasant waitress then slid
a couple of tables together to give us more spaceeven
though there were just two of usand handed us a menu.
For a place that makes its dough by selling bread, DonQ stocks
a wide range of drinks, with standard cocktails (from ¥600),
shochu (¥500-¥600), and a small but reasonably priced
wine list (¥1,800-¥4,800/bottle). The food menu, alas,
was not quite so expansive, nor did it contain many surprises,
with typical-for-Tokyo pepperoncini pasta, fried potatoes,
and ten or so other items, all in the ¥500-¥1,000
We searched the menu in vain for a neighboring tables
ham, cheese and bread plate, which, as it turns out, normally
comes as part of DonQs all-you-can-eat deal. Our helpful
waitress came to the rescue again, however, and agreed to
bring us out an order (¥1,200). The fresh French bread,
pickles and thin-shaved meat were wonderful, more than making
up for the ordinary wedges of Camembert. Excellent, too, was
the tarte flambee (¥900), a thin whisper of crust baked
with flavorful ham, cheese and onions. Another pleasant surprise
was the fried calamari and gobo (¥500), which came as
chunky tako wedges and long, thin strips of burdock. Paired
with a spicy mustard, this dish was a thoroughly Japaneseand
thoroughly delicioustake on fish n chips.
With our bellies full and our buzz increasing, we moved on
to a Campari soda (¥600) and watched the Giants game on
DonQs enormous TV. We knew that there must be more lively
bars on the other side of Tokyo station, but we were happy
to be ensconced in our little boulangerie, eating good food
and drinking in a scene of low-key conviviality.
B2F Marunouchi My Plaza, Meiji Seimei
Bldg, 2-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: 03-5219-5481. Open
Mon-Fri 8am-11pm (L.O. 10pm), Sat 11am-5pm, closed Sun. Nearest
stn: Chiyoda line, Nijubashimae, exit 3.
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