By Niek Ceylan
Markedly different from the rest of Nakano Broadway, Bar Zingaro stands out with its hip interior design and laid back vibes. Opened by worldwide known contemporary artist Takashi Murakami and Fulgen Coffee, the cozy and relaxed space is a mixture of art, coffee, and drinks and is constantly coming out with new additions to their unique menu.
Lined with Murakami’s well known radiant paintings and earthy ceramics created by sponsored artists, Bar Zingaro proves to be a stylish spot among a sea of anime and manga shops. Goodies and renditions of Murakami’s work are lined along the bar’s counter; customers can buy Murakami’s famous flower emblem in various forms such as pins, adorned on notebooks, or even as cookies.
Drinks range on the more expensive side as the recently added cold brew starts at ¥550 and cafe mocha will set you back ¥620. However, as Fulgen is known for growing quality coffee beans, those in need of a caffeine fix will surely find their drink and ambiance worth the price. Tea, lemonade, and the fancy-sounding organic cola are also delicious drink options.
Be sure to ask the bartender about alcoholic drinks (ranging from sake to beer to cocktails), as not all are listed on the menu. Sake drinkers will be delighted to try Murakami’s own new line of sake, a collaboration with NEXT5 brewers from Akita prefecture. Undoubtedly adorned with Murakami’s flower pattern, a display right outside the bar showcases the limited edition sake.
Another new addition to Bar Zingaro’s menu is kakigori. The base price for this shaved ice––flavors vary from matcha to black honey kinako––is ¥800 and extra toppings such as condensed milk go for a couple hundred yen. Since the scrumptious treat is a perfect way to be the heat on a summer day, be sure to come in earlier as the kakigori can sell out rather quickly.
For those who are still hungry for Murakami’s art, head around the corner from the bar to the recently opened Zingaro Space. The room is lined from top to bottom with the artist’s bright flower design as are tables and chairs, and more relics and goods are sold at the rear of the open space. Perfect for taking a break after a long day of shopping or capturing the cutest selfie, Space Zingaro is more colorful than its sister bar.
As Bar Zingaro branches into both figuratively in its menu and literally within the second floor of Nakano Broadway, so does its popularity. This ever-developing blend of art, drink and leisure is enough of a reason to trek on over to Nakano.
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