Pop into this Poplar store to buy convenience store snacks and quaff a craft beer in the same place!

There’s a very classic image of Japanese white-collar workers, heading home after a long day of work, and stopping in at an off-license. Back in the day it was common for off-licenses to feature kadouchi, or a separate portion of the store where you could stand and have a beer (perhaps even a beer you just bought in the store itself). Revitalized and hopped up, you could head back home with a spring in your step.

While the practice was popular throughout the 20th century, now there are just 150 or so establishments left containing kadouchi. Don’t worry, though, we found one in an enticingly eccentric place: a convenience store!

Just two minutes from Hakata station, the convenience store looks like any other Poplar store – a chain that was first started in Hiroshima as a liquor store, fittingly enough. The one nearest to Hakata station has recently carved out a space inside the store where patrons may drink a beer and feast on some convenience store snacks.

▼ The bartender and beers on tap appear courtesy of Kyoto’s Osake no Museum, or Museum of Alcohol.

Osake no Museum has a reputation for offering a selection of worldly craft beers at an affordable price, and because the standing bar is set up inside a convenience store you can have your pick of snacks and sweets to highlight your drink!

Venturing into the convenience store, our own Masanuki Sunakoma was full of glee at the prospect of selecting his own beer snacks. He went straight to the designated section:

▼ Oh no, other people clearly had the same idea. Look how many were sold out!

▼ The canned goods were similarly depleted.

But one convenience store standby had Masanuki covered.

▼ “One Spicy Fried Chicken Piece and a bag of Toasted Pilchards, please!”

With his edibles purchased, Masakuni could drift over to the dimly lit drinking area.

He laid his spoils down on the glossy counter before him and ordered his drink – a 650 yen (US$5.87) glass of “Kyushu CRAFT Hyuganatsu” (Hyuganatsu is a native Kyushu citrus fruit).

▼ Mmm, delicious!

Apparently these kadouchi establishments are popular places for the “second round” of a drinking party, after the first party is over and those who want to continue drinking find a new place to alight. The one inside Poplar can comfortably fit around 30 people despite its “12-person space” declaration, making it a great place to drop in with colleagues or friends.

What’s more, the huge variety of drinks – well over 250 kinds, and priced anywhere from 500 to 5,000 yen – ensures repeat customers. Just check out the menu for 650-yen beers!

▼ Masanuki sampled an “Afterdark” beer as well as the Kyushu craft beer.

If you don’t mind skimping on the fancy craft beers and would rather go with sheer quantity, definitely try out the Raum internet cafe where you can get as much as you can drink (and in a frosty mug to guarantee ice cold satisfaction, to boot!)

Bar Information
Poplar Hakata Station Store / ポプラ博多駅前店
Fukuoka-ken Fukuoka-shi Hakata-ku Hakata Ekimae 2=chome 3-12
Opening times: 3:00 p.m. to midnight (Osake no Museum section)

Images © SoraNews24
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