Last Days to Ship

Bar Owl in Niigata City

When we mentioned to Mr. Akio Watanabe, owner of Bar EST! in Tokyo that we were heading to Niigata, he recommended that we visit Bar Owl. It was one of those things that we told him we would do but Yoko and I didn't actually...

Postcard

Postcard from Shanghai: Speakeasy Secret

*Yoko is in China for 10 days! And with no access to Facebook or Instagram, she is sending us photos the old school way — via postcards. We’ll be featuring these snapshots from Yoko in Chengdu and Shanghai all week here on the blog. Enjoy!...

Akio Watanabe of Bar EST! (Tokyo)

Looking back on our trip to Japan in February, the most memorable cocktail was at Bar EST!. A short distance from the Yushima train station in Tokyo, EST! is a dark, tavernous space filled with men drinking a scotch on the rocks and smoking cigarettes.

Meet Masako Ikegami of Bar Shake (Ginza)

We met the gracious Masako Ikegami in 2010, before we opened our shop in Oakland, at the Tokyo-SF Bartender Salon we helped host at Prizefighter. A few bartenders from Japan who had won the coveted Suntory Cocktail Award, presented cocktails and exchanged tricks of...

Adventures in Nakano: Hitomi Bar

Male bartenders in Japan are full of themselves. There, I said it. From the few "star" bars we visited during our trip to Tokyo, I felt miffed by the arrogance and general unfriendliness of the bartenders. What is up with that? Where...

Skankynavia

Skankynavia: L'Etoile

A new cocktail bar opened in Copenhagen in the spring of 2012. The creation of the bar had been in the making for years. The owner is a friend of mine, who is an impressively ambitious and creative entrepeneur building bars around...

Tokyo-SF Bartender Salon

On Sunday 3/11, the one-year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami in Northern Japan, Yoko and I helped organize a cross-cultural exchange between bartenders from Japan and San Francisco. Held at Prizefighter Bar in Emeryville, it was an intimate gathering of old friends, and new. Tomokazu...

Skankynavia

Skankynavia: Cocktails at 1105 (CPH)

A bar is a playground for grown-ups. A place where you can meet new playmates, taste the sweet nectar of intoxicating juices, take time off to enjoy life with your closest of pals, and on occasion enjoy the chance of entangling your reproduction organs in...

Sneak Peek: Ippuku! (Berkeley)

It's happening. Ippuku, the East Bay's premiere yakitori and shochu bar is opening on Monday 7/5! HOLLA! I was lucky enough to get a tour of the restaurant before it opens and talk with the owner/chef, Christian Geideman. Located in the heart...

The Chicago Ten: The Violet Hour (#7)

Photos by Matt K. and myself. Heard about The Violet Hour, a little speakeasy-esque bar in the Bucktown/ Wicker Park area of Chicago, courtesy of Paystyle. When Pay suggests a place, I follow, no questions asked. Matt and...

Postcard from CHI: Gold Star Bar

Gold Star's a little dive bar in Wicker Park, Chicago. The bartender was a gracious, round lady, who bought her regulars rounds of drinks. She's the daughter of the owner, meaning this bar has been around for decades. How...