This Japanese yakiniku chain wants you to get drunk on your own or with a friend for less than 5 bucks!

Japan is a great place for solo diners, with restaurants setting up counter seating and single booths that’ll make you want to take yourself out to dinner every day of the week.

While you’re out having dinner with yourself, there’s no shame in drinking alone either, especially if you’re at yakiniku chain Yakiniku Like, where the all-you-can-drink plan comes with a self-serve drinks machine on your table.

▼ Yakiniku Like

The new all-you-can-drink deal encapsulates the chain’s motto of Tasty! Quick! Value! as it costs just 550 yen (US$4.67) for 60 minutes. The time on this deal can’t be extended, and you do have to order at least one dish from the menu to go with the drink deal, which you’ll probably want to do anyway, as the counter comes with its very own grill for one.

▼ A grill for one, and yes — a drinks machine for one as well.

Yakiniku Like calls this plan the “Wanbero“, which combines the word “one” with “bero“, from the word “berobero” or “drunk“. They also have a “Tsubero” (“two bero bero”) plan, which allows two diners to enjoy the same deal for 1,000 yen, which works out to 500 yen each.

The specially designed Wanbero and Tsubero seating was previously only available at the head branch in Ebisu from November last year, but it proved to be so popular it’s since been expanded to 26 stores as of 1 March.

That meant our reporter Ahiruneko was able to take advantage of the deal at a branch closer to work, so he made a reservation, as required, and when he got to the store and took a seat, he immediately fell in love with the well-planned setup.

▼ Ahiruneko has enjoyed a lot of all-you-can-drink deals in his time, but this was his first time sitting right next to a drinks machine offering unlimited refills.

The pourer on the left serves unlimited lemon sours, while the one on the right serves unlimited whisky highballs. However, when Ahiruneko visited, he discovered that the tap on the right was dispensing draft beer instead, at no extra cost, for a limited time until 16 March.

▼ Not wanting to drink on an empty stomach, he ordered the “Wanko Horumon” for 980 yen, which gave him unlimited plates of offal and kimchi.

With the clock ticking, and his first plate of food in front of him, it was time to get cracking — or crackling, because as soon as Ahiruneko tossed his meat on the grill, it caused the fire to spit and hiss beneath the sauce and oil.

Last drinks on the plan are called at the 60-minute mark, with departure required at the 75-minute mark, so Ahiruneko had no time to waste. Thankfully, he wouldn’t be wasting any time calling staff over to take his drinks order, though, and he wouldn’t have to get up from his seat either, seeing as the tap was just inches away from his face.

▼ First — a beer. Cheers to solo dining!

▼ Then a bite of kimchi, one of beer’s great companions…

▼ …followed by another sip of beer…

▼ …and some saucy horumon.

It didn’t take our reporter long to polish off everything in front of him, so he placed an order for three more plates of horumon and another plate of kimchi, using the touch screen that was set up conveniently in front of him.

▼ Time for round two! Horumon…

▼ …beer…


▼ …lemon sour…

…on and on and on, in a blissful loop of heady decadence that took Ahiruneko’s mind away from the troubles of the world. Here, in the solitude of his wanbero booth, all that mattered was grilled meat and pouring drinks — and doing as much of it within the allotted timefr….how much time was left now?

Ahiruneko had lost track of the time, and when he glanced at his watch, he realised his one-hour time limit was fast approaching, so he managed to pour another few beverages before staff came over to politely inform him that it was time for last drinks.

▼ With that, he finished with a lemon sour, raising his glass to this brilliant all-you-can-eat-and-drink deal.

If you too would like to take yourself out to a night on the town like Ahiruneko did, we’ve included a list below of the stores that currently offer the Wanbero and Tsubero deals.

The cheap deals here are one of many reasons to like Yakiniku Like, and if you or your dining companion are vegan, some branches even have alternative meat options on the menu too!

Wanbero and Tsubero deal locations:

Ebisu Main Store, Shinjuku West Exit Store, Akasaka Mitsuke Store, Tamachi Shibaura Store, Shibuya Udagawacho Store, Gotanda West Exit Store, Meguro East Exit Store, Ueno Store, Kitasenju Store, Akihabara Chuo Dori Store, Jimbocho Store, Nakano Sun Mall Store, Kichijoji South Exit Store, Tachikawa South Exit Store, Omori West Exit Store (scheduled for late March)

Kawasaki East Exit Store, Ofuna Store

[Saitama Prefecture]
Omiya East Exit Store, Kawagoe Crea Mall Store

Tenmanbashi store, Tenman Seki Telemae store, Sakaihigashi store

[Kyoto Prefecture]
Kyoto Kawaramachi Takoyakushi store

[Hyogo Prefecture]
Amagasaki store

[Aichi Prefecture]
Nagoya Shinkansen Exit

Tenjin Nishidori store (scheduled for late March)

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[ Read in Japanese ]