by Melanie Kamdar
If you have ever stayed at home or returned home early because of your pet, or if your apartment is too small to accommodate the puppy you long for, this is the bar for you.
Empress Bar is on Roppongi Dori just a short walk towards Akasaka Twin Towers from Roppongi crossing. Tatsuya, the manager, isn’t the only face that greets you when you go inside. There’s also a Great Dane, a Miniature Schnauzer, and two beautiful miniature pigs, which have to be seen to be believed. Of course all pets are welcome, so you may find yourself welcomed by an array of domesticated creatures.
Unlike many of the other pet bars and cafes, Empress Bar is also a really stylish, sophisticated place to drink and is immaculately clean. The interior is small with a pleasant ambiance. It has a good atmosphere and is tastefully decorated. People without pets are encouraged to visit and you will find an ever-growing group of both Japanese and expatriate regulars who drop in for a quick drink and a chat. Great films are often shown (naturally Babe is a firm favorite), and a karaoke machine and an electronic dartboard are also available.
Drinks are inexpensive and particularly good value at happy hour, Mon.-Fri. from 6-8pm, as all drinks are ¥500. There is a large range of drinks on offer, including some great sake and Tatsuya really knows how to make a good gin and tonic.
There are often complimentary snacks out on the table, although the four resident animals are particularly good at parting you from your chips. Light bar food is available, so if you fancy something more substantial than the few chips you manage to eat before the animals start begging, there is a great, and reasonably priced, food menu. Favorites include the green curry (¥980), the spicy fried chicken (¥950) and the Empress style mixed pizza (¥800). For dessert, the cheese board (¥1,400) and the tower of parfait (¥1,280) are also delicious.
Empress Bar is open from 6pm-5am Mon. to Sat. and is available for private parties, perfect if your special little friend just has to be there.
Closed on Sundays.
4-1-12 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo