“Just once I would like to run a bar like this.”
“You can do it.”
It was only 5 words and in maybe less than 1 minute, but on the next Monday from that time, I really stood inside of the bar counter and I really started to run a bar as a daily master in Shimokitazawa.
The bar was called “half-moon OK” The tiniest and dirtiest bar in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo.
According to a story I heard from the master of Idiot Savant, the bar has an owner and he leaves the master to run the bar 6 days per week, and Also, he has 2 more bars which have different daily masters every day in Shimokitazawa and one of those bars, called “half-moon OK”(hereinafter referred to as “OK”) was looking for a new Monday’s daily master.
The master said that and he showed that bar after he closed Idiot savant. He introduced me to Wednesday’s master and we drank and talked and Rastafari again. Then, after 2 days from that day, I met the owner of those 3 bars and we drank at his bar together, then I was really asked to manage the bar as Monday’s master starting the next Monday.
Even though I said only one word “I want to do it”.
Bar “OK” located beside the Suzunari-Yokocho (Yokocho means drinking street) at the end of Shimokitazawa. There are only one counter and one long chair (just beer case and a long board) on which 6~8 persons can seat and there is a good-old atmosphere which seems to be of 20~30year of history. The surprising point of the bar, it has to be the “narrowness”, because the width of the bar is only less than 2 m, It means I face my customer at point-blank range (less than 1m?) when they seat, furthermore, If one of the customers wants to go to pee, of course, we should all go out (but there are 2 doors to either end).
Anyway, my new life which is once a week as master of the bar suddenly started. I had just 3 days left to prepare for opening my bar. So, how can I get customers?
At first, I informed all friends of mine that I’ll open the bar from next Monday with my Blog, Also, I made an FB page of the bar (only Monday) and shared it. Then I established the concept of the bar and 3 rules.
Rule 1: I make free appetizers every single week (because I have to take a cover charge from the customer, the bar’s rules but I don’t want to do it).
Rule 2: Every time when somebody visits the bar, I introduce all the customer’s name and the last person to come should propose a toast.
Rule 3: Decide the BGM of the bar by all the people.
Keeping those rules in mind, I wanted to make my customers enjoy that tiny and dirty place in Shimokitazawa.
The concept of the bar was “make customer feel this fu*king unusual space” The bar called “OK” was really tiny and dirty and I was surprised when I saw it the first time, but that’s why I thought that I can entertain them if I can make them get away from the reality on every Monday.
Anyway, 10. DEC of 2012, I opened “OK” as Monday’s master. Even though, my owner gave me only a phone number from the liquor store.
I don’t want to brag about, but that tiniest and dirtiest bar called “OK” fitted into my style as my instinct told me when I saw it the first time. A lot of friends of mine, people I met on the street, regular customers of Suzunari-Yokocho and friends of friends came to drink there and it was full of customers every Monday.
Then, the 22nd of DEC, as I mentioned on the Prologue, came.
I didn’t know that I have to close Bar “OK” in 6 months at that time.