Shibuya Family Mart teams up with Kyoto bar.

In recent years, a lot of Japanese convenience store chains have begun adding “eat-in corners,” counters or tables with chairs where customers can eat whatever food they’ve purchased right there in the store. You can also sit and have beverages, but only as long as they’re soft drinks, since alcohol is prohibited in the eat-in corners.

However, we recently found a special branch of convenience store chain Family Mart in Tokyo that does let you drink alcoholic beverages on the premises by ordering them from a full bar right there inside the store!

We found this place not in a mystical fantasyland, but in Shibuya Ward, at Family Mart’s Shibuya Meiji-dori branch. Sharing space on the sign with Family Mart’s name is Liquor Museum (Osake no Bijutsukan in Japanese), a chain of bars founded in Kyoto that’s Family Mart’s partner in this team-up.

Step inside the store, and you’ll quickly notice the bar section. We’d been expecting a simple setup, maybe with just a tiny counter to stand at, but…

…this is a full-on bar inside a convenience store, complete with elegant high chairs and a snappily dressed bartender ready to mix a variety of drinks using the extensive selection of spirits on the shelf behind him.

Drink prices start at just 500 yen (US$3.40). Liquor Museum is especially popular as an affordable place to drink Japanese whiskey, though, and for just a little bit more, 800 yen, you can get a pour of Suntory’s Chita. The distiller’s premium Hakushu, Yamazaki, and Ao varieties are 1,000 yen each, but even that’s less than you’ll pay for them at most other bars in Japan, and since Liquor Museum, unlike most other bars, doesn’t charge a cover fee, the total price for a pour is especially budget-friendly.

Having a bar inside a convenience store also allows for some pretty cool synergy, in that you’re allowed to bring any Family Mart food you purchase with you to the bar counter to enjoy as drinking snacks. What’s more, the bar staff will sear any items you want for free, giving them a toasty, classy touch.

▼ The menu recommends searing Family Mart’s thick-cut bacon and camembert cheese slices.

If you want to get even fancier, they’ll also smoke food items for you for an additional fee of 150 yen each.

▼ For smoking, they recommend things like potato chips and cheese.

Of course, some convenience store snacks taste perfect just the way they are, like Family Mart’s Famichiki boneless fried chicken filets.

Knowing this, Liquor Museum serves highballs specially concocted to pair well with Famichiki.

In the interest of performing a thorough evaluation, we ordered one to go with the Famichiki we’d brought to the counter with us, and the combination was immensely satisfying. We followed this up with a Suntory Hakushu highball, again, strictly for evaluation purposes, not because we just wanted to drink while on the job and have our boss pay for it.

▼ It was great too.

Right now, this is the only Family Mart in Tokyo with its own bar inside, but if it turns out to be a hit, there may be more to come.

Location information
Family Mart (Shibuya Meiji-dori branch) / ファミリーマート(渋谷明治通り店)
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Shibuya 3-12-22
Convenience store open 24 hours, bar open 3 p.m.-11:30 p.m.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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