Al Capone supposedly once said “prohibition has made nothing but trouble.” Sure, the 1920s in America can’t have been easy, especially if you enjoyed an after-work drink, but then again he did also once say “I don’t even know what street Canada is on.” Prohibition also had its plus sides, without it we wouldn’t have jazz, some great classic films or everyones favorite elicit underground drinking establishment, the speakeasy. Speakeasies became a huge part of the culture of 1920s America—bringing people, regardless of color and status, together around many of the cocktails still seen in bars today. It’s this rich culture and aesthetic of 1920s New York that the owners took as their inspiration when creating the newly opened Satin Bar in Akasaka, Tokyo.
Born from the shared vision of owners Kelly Hosoume and Filip Beuls, the inspiration for Satin’s interior design, executed by Vyvial Suzuki Studio, is elegant in its simplicity. “I was inspired by the prohibition era, F. Scott Fitzgerald and the art deco style of the time,” says Beuls and it doesn’t take long to see this inspiration come to life with an art-deco style mural painted by local artist Eri Takagi setting the tone as you descend the stairs. Satin by name and by design, smooth, fluid lines and texture are on full display inside the venue from the 10-meter-long bar to the rounded booths and central, washi paper-coated archway that provides the bar its unmistakable and multicultural identity. It wouldn’t be a jazz age-style bar without a splash of gold and there’s more than enough gold in the bar to make you feel like you’re partying with Gatsby himself.
The philosophy of the bar is a straightforward one, too. As Beuls says, “we wanted to offer late-night drinking alternatives outside of Roppongi, we feel like there’s the potential to do something different here.” With multiple new developments happening in Akaska, Hosoume and Beuls plan to help bring new life to the neighborhood, making Satin a go-to spot for locals and visitors alike in a setting that’s one of a kind. With hostess bars and izakayas dominating much of the neighborhood, venues like Satin Bar are a rare find in Akaska, completely distinct from the streets above.
The cocktail menu, created by award-winning mixologist Marcelo Yuji Prantoni features everything you’d expect to see in a 1920s speakeasy from old fashioneds to dry martinis as well as signature offerings such as the deliciously decadent Satin cocktail which features premium gin, vodka, dry vermouth, St. Germain and Luxardo. Prantoni also designed the back bar which offers a wide selection of fine spirits, beers, wine and champagne.
In addition to the 45-person-capacity bar and lounge area, the Blue Room is one of the highlights of the bar, seating groups of 12 and offering a private space to enjoy karaoke or a private function. Having already enjoyed a range of themed parties from Brazilian and Latin nights to the upcoming Halloween party, Satin also boasts a regular events calendar and DJ roster, equipped with a high-end sound system and DJ equipment, the venue caters to a variety of musical tastes. Soccer fans looking for a place to catch the world cup also need not look any further with staff screening many of the games on the bar’s projector screen this November and December.
True to the speakeasy inspiration behind the bar, its staff and clientele come from all walks of life with the team of multilingual staff from Brazil, Bolivia, Belgium and Japan, the bar has already attracted a host of multicultural regulars looking for a new place to come together and interact. So who says prohibition caused nothing but trouble? If Capone could visit Satin Bar today he’d see that it wasn’t all bad. He may even find out what street Canada is on.
Catch Satin Bar’s Halloween party this October.
3 Chome-12-3 Akasaka, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0052