Sakura Tokyo – #62 on the Tour

The Bar: Sakura Tokyo

The Address 640 Park Avenue

The Day and the TIme  9 on Friday after Thanksgiving

The price 5.35

Did they ask me if I wanted a lime No. I just got it.

What was the type of gin Well

What was the gin and tonic like Kind of strong, kind of edgy. It was not a great gin and tonic. I talked to someone afterwards and he said that they don’t make those drinks, they make Mai Tais and Scorpions bowls. I get it, you don’t go to an Irish Bar for a Singapore Sling, but come on, a gin and tonic. We are not talking about a complicated mixological creation. And if you google a little you will find many bars in Tokyo that makes this particular high ball. No, I don’t think its cultural. I mean,I am in a cocktail lounge in Worcester Massachusetts listening to a cover band doing Tom Petty tunes, I don’t think its because of culture. I think I just got a fair to middling drink. It happens.

The Joint It is a very large restaurant. There are three huge sections. One for Hibachi. One for the Sushi Bar and the general japanese restaurant and then there is the cocktail lounge. This is the kind of cocktail lounge that I imagined when I think of the late 70s swinging life. It is big with a large stage where the band can stretch out. There are booths and tables and a dance floor and there is a good sized bar. Close to 200 folks can be here. Not that there were 200 people when I was there, more like 25. This ain’t a bad number, but the space drowned us all.

This is a place where good bands play covers. The band was decent, they had nice chops, but they started up on Tom Petty and I was shrugging my coat on and getting ready to get. I don’t have much against classic rock or those young fellas who play it in Asian Restaurant Cocktail Lounges, I just wasn’t feeling it. My loss I am sure.

General Impressions As I came in, the band had just finished sound check and were now back with their friends at a table. The band and their “entourage” were more than half of the people there. This was changing when they got up to do their first set. Folks were coming in and getting scorpion bowls. A few solitary men and women were peaking in, waiting to see if there were people to check out, to talk to, to a make a scene to. I don’t know how busy it gets, but I hope it takes care of the needs of all these divergent peoples and groups. That you can meet and hook up and you can also go and share a ridiculous looking drink with a couple friends. Its big enough for all kinds.

As the band played a couple of the women who came with them started dancing crazy to each other. Acting all mad and bohemian.

The bartender was good. The evening seemed thin so one of the waitresses went home, she talked about going home and getting out of there for 10 minutes before she actually did. The remaining cocktail waitress seemed to have her work cut out for her, even though the crowd was still light. She was moving, but i guess not fast enough for some people. One guy, who was hanging at the band’s table came over to the bar to get a drink. The bartender asked him if he was with the band’s table, and the guy said he was. The bartender told him that he had to order his drink at the table, that he couldn’t help him here. The guy tried for a little bit to get his drink at the bar but soon surrendered and went back to the table and the hope of the emergence of the cocktail waitress. I felt for that guy. That has happened to me too over the years. I never quite understood why I just couldn’t jump over the waitress-table customer relationship and get my drink at the bar? Tips, I know, but I still felt for the dude.

Amount of Time in the Joint 35 minutes. I was waiting for the band to start to get a good feel for the cocktail lounge experience. The band started and I now was experienced and ready to leave.

Will I come back For the restaurant, I like going and will continue. For the cocktail lounge, I don’t know. I don’t think so. Like the Kas Bar, I am happy we have a hyper huge cocktail lounge in town, I just don’t think I am the guy who wants to go to them. For those who want that Mai Tai and 70s rock cover tunes elan all tied up with the chance of getting lucky, go for it.

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