The bar of the Club’s soon-to-open Nihonbashi facility promises an elegant and vibrant experience for all imbibers.
"I like bars just after they open for the evening,” declares gumshoe Philip Marlowe in Raymond Chandler’s 1953 noir masterpiece The Long Goodbye. “The first quiet drink of the evening in a quiet bar—that’s wonderful.”
Nihonbashi, a neighborhood long known as a hub of business bustle, is likely not overflowing with watering holes that would appeal to Marlowe. Come spring, however, the Club’s first-ever satellite club, located in Nihonbashi Muromachi Mitsui Tower, promises a classic bar experience for all discerning drinkers.
Member Terry White, who sits on the TAC Nihonbashi Task Force, is excited about the space.
“It creates a sense of belonging,” he says of the bar’s function. “In the middle of town, in Tokyo’s commercial district, you can just relax, take a breath [and] pause to talk to your friends, clients, whoever you like.”
Image: Architectural rendering of the Nihonbashi Club bar
Designed by Daishi Yoshimoto of Tokyo-based architectural firm UDS, the square-shaped bar will be the Club’s eye-catching centerpiece. With an adjacent lounge space for those in search of a more sedate experience, the bar will emanate a livelier yet eminently stylish atmosphere.
“I want this to be an island so that people can move around,” says Yoshimoto, who worked with the task force on the interior design of the entire facility. “You want freedom of movement. You want it to be really, really fluid. It will become the hub of the Club.”
Fashioned with classic dark woods and custom-made lighting fixtures, the bar will also feature elevated rails for glassware so as not to obscure the view out of the nearby floor-to-ceiling windows. Anchoring the bar in the center will be an illuminated tower of liqueurs and fine glassware, which will double as a striking accent piece to welcome Members and guests.
“We want this to be the wow factor,” Yoshimoto says.
White explains that while the Azabudai clubhouse features its own share of establishments where Members can wet their whistle, the bar at the Nihonbashi Club will offer an entirely different atmosphere. By virtue of its location in the heart of one of Tokyo’s most historic business districts, the bar will serve as an oasis of lunchtime tipples during the day and as an afterwork refuge for coworkers and client meetups.
“You walk in,” imagines White, “there’s a bartender shaking the shaker. There’s a buzz in the room. The background music is sophisticated. It’s going to be something else.”
It’s a few months before the first drink is poured at the Nihonbashi Club, but White already has his beverage of choice picked out: a classic Manhattan to match the refined setting. Marlowe would approve.
Words: Owen Ziegler
Top image: Architectural rendering of the Nihonbashi Club bar
Nihonbashi: Tradition & Modernity
Dec 14 | Half-day tour