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Fujiya Honten didn’t invent the concept of the “stand bar” — the Japanese term for casual eating and drinking (usually wine rather than sake) with no frills or seating — but it’s come as close to perfecting it as anywhere in Tokyo. The original in Shibuya remains immensely popular. Now the same idea and laid-back expertise have arrived in the east side of the city.

At the smart, brand-new branch close to Hamacho Station, space is at a premium. The kitchen is shoehorned into the ground floor, with most of the standing room on the floor above. But the menu, chalked as always on the wall above eye level, is surprisingly extensive with lots of grilled meats to follow up the pasta, pizza, salads and charcuterie. Everything is intended to be paired with the highly affordable wine and is executed to a commendable standard.

What this new branch is not, however, is a replacement for the wonderful, spacious, atmospheric Fujiya Honten Grill Bar in Sangenjaya, which sadly closed last year. The word is that a search is on for replacement premises in that area. For the time being, though, it’s the folks in Nihonbashi who are getting to enjoy the Fujiya Honten experience.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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