What makes a great bar? Answers to this question are endless – it depends on personal preference and the individual needs of the patron. However, one of the top responses to this question is the establishments range and quality of whisky. This is all very well true but let’s be honest, people who frequent bars often are also looking for bang for their buck. I may be speaking for myself but this is an important factor, especially when you visit bars a lot and have your fair share of drams. Personally I also appreciate going to bars that don’t have a cover charge. I certainly understand the concept of the “cover charge” but again, if you frequent a few bars in one night over a period of say a month it adds up. Call me cheap but if it can be avoided and you can put the “charge” say towards another dram I’m all for it.
What could be better than a bar that has no cover charge with a decent selection of whisky? Simple – a bar that also has “Happy Hour”, and not just any happy hour but one that makes every dram in the bar half price. As far as I know there are not too many bars that do this. However, one such bar that does goes by the name of One Shot Bar Keith in Shin Osaka – an establishment you won’t find in any English written whisky book, and if you do in the near future you can be sure it was first introduced at Whiskies R Us.
Bar Keith, the name better known to locals starts its happy hour at a welcoming 5:00pm finishing at 7:00pm – another important factor making a visit to this bar very rewarding (earlier the better). During this time everything is 50% off and that includes half shots, with no cover charge (a charge applies during normal bar hours). This really is an exceptional offer to say the least. A prime example would be that of Yamazaki’s Mizunara Cask 2012. Normally 4,000 yen a shot, therefore 2,000 during happy hour, making it a mere 1,000 yen for a half shot. The whisky collection at Bar Keith is predominantly Scotch but expect to find over a dozen decent Japanese whiskies at any given time including the bar’s original Chichibu Solera Cask – a 20 litre cask that contained Chichibu genshu, a high percentage of Mizunara Wood Reserve, and recently topped up with Chibidaru and Port Pipe. The friendly husband and wife team who own the bar are connoisseurs and are happy to help customers discover whiskies.
The moderate sized bar is a well stocked establishment with an abundance of old Scotch bottles and memorabilia to keep you occupied while dramming. Bar Keith is conveniently located and an ideal place to unwind after a hard day’s work, especially if you’re in the area and knocked-off work at a reasonable hour. From JR Shin Osaka it’s an eight minute walk (west exit – turn right and walk in a straight direction past the Hotel Laforet, go down the stairway bridge and walk straight on the right hand side until you come to a set of traffic lights – turn right). For subway directions take a look here (in Japanese).
Osaka-Shi, Yodogawa-ku, Miyahara 2-14-1.1F