The Book & Bed Hostel who opened their first branch in Tokyo in late 2015 are opening a new hostel in Gion entertainment district of Kyoto this December. This time the minds behind this bibliophile’s dream have added a crafty bar space into the mix. I’ve written all about it for the ZenVita blog and you can read that right here: Browse and Carouse at Kyoto’s Newest Hostel: Book & Bed & Beer!
Why the name? Here’s the story as I understand it: the master here was formerly an antiques dealer, ordering a lot of goods from Europe, and one such item was the lovely frosted glass door now in the entrance. This originally belonged to an old 19th century smoking room in England, and thus Smoke Room. Originally Smoke Room was a zakka and antiques shop and there are still a variety of zakka type knick-knacks available here, but now Smoke Room is also a very pleasant cafe/bar. And the bar is well stocked with wines, whiskies, shochu, and a full range of cocktails. To complement the Belgian accessories on sale, they also stock some Belgian beers. And to complement the Belgian beers they have a good Belgian pub-style snack menu of sausages, hams and Belgian style fries. If you want something more substantial, steak, and various pasta dishes are also on offer.
Or you could just go for a quiet cup of coffee for ￥５００．It’s a small place with a very distinctive atmosphere and um, handsome bar-tenders. Check out the photos below.
Smoke Room is on the north side of Nijo, a short walk east of Kawabata Dori. Closed on Sundays the opening hours are 17:00 ~ 24:00 (last orders at 23:00 for food and 23:30 for drinks). Here is a map. Check out their funky website here.
In my next post: Salut Ya and some very tasty sandwiches…