My first thought when setting foot in The Iron Fairies was that this wasn’t your normal run-of-the-mill concept bar. The aesthetics and atmosphere were given serious consideration, and for anyone who is interested in fantasy, fairy tales, and mythology, it could prove reason enough to take an evening visit to Ginza. And that’s not even mentioning the expertly crafted drinks, the ambience, and the stellar service.
The Iron Fairies was designed by artist and blacksmith Ashley Sutton, who’s renowned for being the brains behind some famously original venues in Bangkok: Maggie Choo’s, Mr. Jones’ Orphanage, and Bangkok Betty. Sutton has joined forces with celebrated mixologist Carson Quinn and bar consultant Joseph Boroski to bring his latest creation to life. They have collaborated to create something you won’t likely forget.
As you enter the basement, you’re transported from the familiar Ginza streets to a place more fantastical, where your imagination can run wild. Bottles of fairy dust line the walls on timeworn shelves, butterflies hover overhead in suspended animation, and blacksmith tools sit next to tiny iron fairies to give the impression that they were just recently crafted. There are 15 fairies dotted around the bar amid the jars and tools, all with their own individual stories and personalities. The friendly staff will encourage you to listen to some of these tales—perfect for those like me who enjoy the odd whimsical story every now and then.
So you don’t believe in fairies? Well, it’s not all they offer. If you’re searching for a bar that offers ambience, quirky design, and great music, look no further. The selection of music is a mix of ambient, jazz, and electronic, tailored to complement the atmosphere. I was particularly thankful I didn’t have to shout over the music to have a conversation.
Looking at the menu, I was very impressed by the inventiveness of the cocktails. You’ve heard of gourmet dining; this is gourmet drinking. The price of some drinks may seem steep at first, but once you taste them, you know you’re getting what you paid for: top-quality ingredients combined by specialists who love their craft.
It was tough to decide what to order for my first drink, but being a fan of anything that sounds relatively spicy, I opted for a Fire Smacker, a concoction of tequila, strawberry, lime, honey, chocolate, Himalayan salt, and shishito pepper. Contradictory to its name, it didn’t actually taste like a smack in the mouth with fire, but instead a very pleasant combination of flavors that made my taste buds sing a little lullaby of joy. Well, at least I thought I could hear them sing.
My next drink was a Pink Tako. It had some very creative ingredients, which may or may not include octopus. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, don’t worry—there are some excellent beers, wines, and champagnes on offer, too.
It’s worth mentioning that, at The Iron Fairies, there’s no seat charge and no tax added to your tab at the end of the night. I can remember a few occasions when I was enjoying some drinks with friends, having a grand old time, until the tab lands and there’s all sorts of unexpected charges. Not the case here: you pay for what you eat and drink, and don’t have to worry about anything else. The staff are all very friendly and speak English, so this is a great place to check out if you’re not so confident with your Japanese.
Sure, you can find cocktails all around Tokyo, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find any as imaginative and flavorsome as these. So drop by and enjoy the inspired menu of craft cocktails, the friendly staff, and the otherworldly atmosphere of The Iron Fairies.
The Iron Fairies Ginza. Cheers Ginza B1, 5-9-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Nearest station: Ginza, Exit A5. Tel: 03-6274-6416. Open Mon-Sat 6pm-4am, Sun 6pm-midnight. www.ironfairiesjapan.com