Today a quick post on a bar that seemed to appear without me realising. It’s strange, as I walk along this road quite a lot but I guess that I probably haven’t recently, and perhaps a recent break in boozing has compounded that. But here it is anyway, a new beer bar in Shimokita, a lively area that probably still lacks a really good beer bar. Sure there are a few others and one particularly big name, but I think I’ve probably made it clear that I’m not that keen on Ushitora, which is loved by many, but which I find to be hugely overrated. Whether, with the arrival of Coaster, we can now say that Shimokita has its own great beer bar is still up for debate. However, Coaster does seem to be offering something a little different to the other places in the local area. Here’s what you need to know.
– Trendy decor, something like the Mikkeller bar, but with a bit more of an American influence thrown in. Can’t really put my finger on why I think this though. Lots of bare concrete and wood. Big and high communal table in front of the bar. Seats for five or so at the counter. A few smaller tables and some bench and sofa areas. There are also some standing tables in quite an open area by the door. Perhaps this was what was making me think of Mikkeller. Big kitchen area at the back where they seem to make some nice looking food.
– Beers served in two sizes, and I think they were US pint and half. Prices didn’t vary that much between imports and domestic beers, and surprisingly, one of the cheapest beers available was actually an import. 15 taps, about 2/3 imported and 1/3 Japanese. The Japanese selections weren’t the most exciting, but I realise that this is all a matter of opinion anyway. The imports were split 50/50 between European and US beers. Prices ranged from ¥600-¥850 for the smaller size and ¥1100-¥1400 for the larger. Unbelievably, much like at the Ol Tokyo bar, the Oslo brewing beers were the most expensive. I have no idea who’s buying their beers at these prices. I know Norway is an expensive country, but there’s a distinct lack of ‘cost performance’ for their beers I find. So, it’s not cheap, but the space is quite large and it’s in an expensive neighbourhood I guess.
– No smoking, no cover charge and wifi. Oh, and also power outlets too. Whether there is daytime opening or not, who knows? Their Facebook page doesn’t have hours (edit: IT DOES NOW, AND THERE IS PLENTY OF DAYTIME OPENING), and the website seems to just be a page of links to the Facebook and Twitter. Guess it’s a work in progress, but I’d say they should probably publish their hours somewhere as at the moment it’s all guess work and I’d imagine that doesn’t exactly encourage floating voters.
So, it’s a little expensive, but prices have been creeping up everywhere recently and the location and space are not cheap, I’d guess. They are a little outside the main Shimokita shopping area, but not far enough to put off thirsty customers. But I would imagine that they don’t get as many people walking past and stumbling on them as they would if they were nearer the station. I wonder if the fact that they have Oslo brewing beers on means there is some connection to Ol Tokyo. I’m not sure Oslo beers are worthy of the super high prices and I’m not sure that it’s a brewery people particularly seek out. If their concept is 1/3 European, 1/3 US and 1/3 Japanese, I quite like it! Just wish the Japanese beers were a bit more interesting, but once again, this is just my personal taste. If they start publishing their taplist, I’m sure they’ll get plenty of interest in this area. I also feel that perhaps I’m not really their target audience. The place feels fashionable, vibrant and airy. I am unfashionable, lethargic and musty. But good luck to them. Hopefully I can pop back soon.
Japanese breweries seen on tap:
代沢 5-19-13, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo