There’s a thing in Japan – where it’s popular for bars to be themed around record collections. Of course, an evening out with a bunch of vinyl-heads doesn’t exactly scream “fun,” does it?
So when Ariel Arce (former Wine Director at the now shuttered Birds & Bubbles) decided to open her new Tokyo Record Bar in the West Village, she wisely added a bit of sex appeal to its audiophile allure. The kitschy-chic room is actually located below Air’s Champagne Parlor, which she just opened in August on a picturesque stretch of MacDougal Street – so it comes with a built-in subterranean intrigue.
Yet despite its music geek appeal, there’s actually a bit of Japanese formality to it all – with specifically timed “Vinyl Jukebox” seatings at 6:30pm and at 8:30pm (seriously, don’t be late). A $50 prix-fixe gets you a 7-item Izakaya dining experience, and the singular kick of getting to act as co-curator of the 90-minute dinner soundtrack. At 10pm, it switches to normal seating, a la carte menu and a proper DJ sort bringing the tunes.
The drinks menu is, hardly surprisingly, focused around sake and shochu based cocktails. Oh, and if you’re really into Nordic black metal, you might have to go ‘byov(inyl).”