Café Bleu

Blues and Brews

By L. MacLean    - 2 min read

Are you in need of a hideaway? Comfortable spaces with books, music and stimulating beverages are appreciated; ones with style in addition, ideal. A brief walk west off of the Okaido shopping arcade in Matsuyama, there is such a place hidden in plain sight called Café Bleu.

Anticipated extremes of historic must-sees and high tech encounters are not generally part of Japanese daily life; instead, nostalgia pervades. The past can be recreated by those with sensitive attention to detail, and after twenty-five years in the music industry, Café Bleu owner Masato Ikegawa and his partner Atsuko did just that with their sophisticated space reflective of the café cultures of Paris, London, the Beat generation, and late-seventies New York.

The Ikegawas’ extensive collection of art, photography, and music books (many in English), their record and CD collection, and the evocative pieces on the walls, along with the mid-century furniture, pad the tidy loft café with familiar comforts that ease one into being pleasurably lost. Coffee is served in Fire King cups while a Victrola stands ready for requests and iconic twentieth-century figures of pop culture on the walls wait to lock eyes.

Café Bleu is open for lunch from 11:30 to 3:00, and food orders are served until their midnight closing. Curries, pilaf, omelets, and spaghettis are accompanied by a small salad, and for an additional fee, your order will come with a choice of listed refreshments. There are desserts created by Atsuko Ikegawa, and the menu offers coffees, soft drinks, beer, wine, spirits, and cocktails which will excite and please a wide-range of guests. Service is friendly, respectful, and consistent. Although the menu contains little English, it is carefully arranged with photographs and divided into categories. Warm café meals are complemented by the cool background blues, jazz, and folk music. Run your fingers along the exposed brick and all five senses will be satisfied at Café Blue.

Live musical performances are held throughout the year; please check Café Bleu’s website for upcoming events. Inquire with Mr. Ikegawa about renting his establishment to make your private meetings, parties, and performances stylish.

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L. MacLean

L. MacLean @l.maclean

I'm a Canadian living in Japan for twenty years, and I think Ehime is this country's best-kept secret.

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