View Full Version : Jazz & Bourbon Ken's Bar

01-28-2009, 19:28
This evening I am going to visit Jazz & Bourbon Ken's Bar in the Kabukicho area of Shinjuku. Anyone ever been?

I will post my thoughts for those of you who might come to Tokyo, Japan one day and find yourself in Shinjuku.

01-28-2009, 19:45
Look forward to your notes for my next visit. Did you ever make it to Shot Bar Bourbon in Ginza?

01-30-2009, 02:16
we're waiting...

...made it home yet, Atilla?

I'll be in Tokyo Monday and Tues night. Is Ken's Bar worth trying to hit?

01-30-2009, 05:53
Ken's Bar is a bar the basement of a building of the Golden-gai area of Shinjuku. This is a great little area filled with dozens and dozens of tiny little bars with an extremely diverse client base.

Address: 東京都新宿区歌舞伎町1-1-7マルハビルB1
Cut and paste that into google maps, and it will show you where the building is. Just go to the back of the building to find the bar.

Ken's bar is tiny. It seats 10 small people or 6 good sized people comfortably. The final bill was $200, which bought the 5 of us some light snacks:
3 pours of Old Rip HMB12
1 pour of OGD114
1 pour of Clementine
7 pours of Lot B (Lawrenceburg)
1 pour of OFBB05

Service was friendly and knowledgeable. Ken travels to the states 3 to 4 times a year. I didnt have a pour, but GTS goes for $30 a shot. The bartender explained to me that at that price, they went through 5 bottles in 6 weeks. And it is alway drank neat.

I definately recommend a visit (despite Ken's adherence to the extraordinarily annoying Japanese custom of having a "charm charge", a $10 charge for the privilege for taking a seat at the bar) . . (and a thick smell of old cigar smoke when you first go in). Ken had at least 8 (if not a full dozen) various Van Winkle bottlings and (from the looks of it) he has well over 100 bottles other bottles of bourbon waiting to be served.

Ken also has a nice blog: http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/bourbonjazzkensbar

01-30-2009, 05:54
Shot Bar Bourbon in Ginza?

Shotbar Bourbon in Ginza is awesome x2.

01-30-2009, 15:31

This is exactly why I trade. I'm not going to pay $30 a shot for Stagg,
or even $300 a bottle.

I would figure most bars/snacks have a cover charge of some kind.
Ten seems a bit high, but you are in Tokyo.


01-30-2009, 15:45
Rest assured, i didnt pay the $30 either.

If some one else wants to pay it, thats their perrogative.

And it a guest in my home offerred, out of the blue, to pay me $30 bucks for a pour of any of my bourbons, they would be very welcome to do so until I had no more bourbon left. Unfortunately, I do expect I will ever be anywhere near that lucky.

01-30-2009, 22:29
Thanks for the report, Atilla. Sounds like a great place, but damn, I just can't swing those prices. ...not without getting rid of some dependents.

...Anybody want some kids? A wife? How 'bout a wife?

...nah, it's just not gonna work.

But here's a heads up on some fine jazz all (except Wed.) next week in Tokyo.

At the Bluenote: http://www.bluenote.co.jp/jp/schedule/index.php?yr=2009&mn=2

A jazz supergroup:

Chick Corea (p)
John McLaughlin (g)
Christian McBride (b)
Kenny Garrett (ts)
Brian Blade (ds)

I know the music of each of these brilliant players seperately. And while sometimes in situations like this, the whole is less than the sum of the parts, the band has been on tour for a while, so should be operating as a tight unit by now. And it's in a club, not a concert hall. Not something to be missed.

But again, at 13,650 a head, I probably will miss it.

... probably just keep the family and end up at Dubliners drinking no age statement Tullamore Dew and trying to hear that hint of Irish music through the clamour bouncing off the walls, and ceiling ...

and pick up something at Tanakaya on the way out of town.

Could do worse.