While Beer Komachi flips the esthetic and architecture of a shotengai butcher shop, Before 9 occupies a traditional machiya. Its charms as a tavern aside, Before 9 happens to be an architectural gem. Put together by Tokyo-based Puddle Architects, Before 9 is a fine example of their mission to renew rather than reinvent existing spaces (they put together a sister location, Another 8, in Meguro, Tokyo, which saw a former garage being renovated to house a beer and sake bar). The machiya once housed a sake brewer, and Puddle’s design highlights the preserved elements by pursuing absolute minimalism with any additional fixtures, extending down to the taps, with irregular wooden handles set in a block of concrete. The atmosphere is warm, with the bar open to the street, and an area upstairs, occupying what would have been the merchant family’s quarters, particularly chilled out, with films projected on the wall.
- Kyoto Kyoutoshi Nakagyou-ku Nijoudenchou 545
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