Japanese bar Ichikura will double in size next week when it opens the floor above as Bar Brew*. While Ichikura is best known for quality cocktails and single malts, the focus at Bar Brew will be on about 60 grape wines, a range of aged Chinese rice wines, beers from around the world, and sake.
Bar Brew features dark gray walls and carpets, black leather chairs, burnt-orange tabletops, and black chandeliers studded with small orange lamp shades. It includes three tables for six people and 18 seats along the bar, and is more spacious than Ichikura, which is split between a bar and two private rooms. While Ichikura is an intimate space, Bar Brew seems ideal for small groups, and to handle spillover from downstairs.
* The name Bar Brew does not resonate with me. After all, if you have a bar called Ichikura, why not name its sibling Scratchikura? Kidding aside, why not stick with Ichikura? After all, this place became popular with a Japanese name even though it focuses on Scottish whiskies and Western cocktails. It is word of mouth and reputation, not the name, that will determine the success of this spot.