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« Thursday, Sept. 30th, 2010—Bar 263 | Main | Tuesday, Sept. 28th, 2010—Bar 261 »

Wednesday, Sept. 29th, 2010—Bar 262

Day 262—Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

I found a sake bar in the East Village online called Decibel that looks like a cool place. From what I could see online it’s got a small bar upfront and a dining area in the back. I’m banking on the fact since it’s Tuesday we can land a spot at the bar. Let’s go and see.

This isn't an easy bar to find, I walked by it twice and finally saw the little red sake sign.

And here's the low-lit sign on the side of the building.

And it's down the stairs we go.

The bar is small and candle-lit with one bench for everyone to sit at. I managed to wiggle in at the end of the bar.

Here's K the bartender. I'm not that knowledgeable about sake and K helped me choose one.

And here he is in action.

K made an excellent choice, it was delicious.

There's a row of Japanese masks that hang over the bar.

The back wall of the bar is lined with sake bottles and cups.

And more bottles are lit up at the top of the wall opposite the bar.

Graffiti and Japanese art line the walls.

Here's the nice people I was sharing the bar with: Lisa, Ryusake, Burt and Anna.

Takashi helps behind the bar and seats people in the back dining area.

A collage of sake labels on the wall.

A view of K from the opposite end of the bar.

There's a dining room in the back, let's check it out.

There's a long, candle-lit bar in the center of the room to sit and dine at.

There's tables in the back of the room...

And booths up front. It's nice and dark back here with candles providing most of the light.

Hello, kitty!

Meanwhile back at the bar, K and Takashi are taking care of business.

A view of the bar from where I'm seated.

A final Japanese beer and a tumbler of sake are served.

Cheers and goodnight, everybody! Sayonara!

Decibel is a hidden gem in the East Village. You have to have the address handy and be vigilant, because it’s easy to pass this downstairs bar. There’s just a small sign on the building and a somewhar rickety flight of stairs leads you downstairs to the bar. The decor is a combination punk rock, Japanese fusion and a litttle speakeasy making for a unique atmosphere. The bartenders and staff are friendly and more than happy to help you with selections from the menu. Trance and disco music play at a conversational level and if you go here on a weekend you may have to endure a bit of a wait for a table or spot at the small, cozy front bar.

There’s more than 70 varieties of sake to be had here and you can sample them chilled or warm. The staff is well-knowledged on the selecctions and can help steer you to a taste that is of your liking. In addition to the large sake list, there’s also cocktails and Japanese beers available. There’s food and soups available to enjoy along with the sake and some of the appetizers include: steamed shumai, edamame and sauteed seaweed and noodles. Okonomiyaki is the house specialty pancake.
240 E. 9th St. (@Second Ave)

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Reader Comments (27)

Awesome I love it....
not turning Japanese though. HA!
I love Sake
I love all the masks and this place is just amazing. what a great little gem you found!

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGidget

Outstanding bar,,, very dark and cozy,,,Takashi has a rather unique hair style. I don't know too much about sake either, only had it a couple of times,,,,great when an expert leads you to a good one. Seems like every block in NY has these hidden gem's, just walk and then down some stairs and a party,,,,,,Wow the Vapors,,,,one hit wonder?

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

One of the coolest spots yet! Looks like a true hidden charm! Punk rocky sake ticky tocky! Great photos in this one. And like Al, I forgot all about that song! Perfect choice to end this crawl on!

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

Looks like a delightful change of pace! Love the artful and exotic lighting in Decibel and I'm a big fan of sushi and Japanese tempura cooking...though I think I'd pass on any sushi made from blow fish, I understand it's quite the delicacy in Japan...but one little mistake on the preparation and you're dead before you hit the floor!

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Sake to me! *rimshot*
Nice choice. Didnt know there were sake only bars in NYC.
I consider myself "schooled". Thanks for the lesson.

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSum Ting Wong Wound Eye.

Glad you stumbled on this place! It's not very easy to find, but I've had a good time there when I've gone. Congrats on 262!

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEast Village Eats

love love love this place! looks like a japanese underground playhouse. the bar is rustic and that dining room is super dark and intimate. cool find!

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrita r.

@East Village Eats: Thanks! Three to go and we start the 100 countdown!

September 29, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Wow Marty what an incredibly cool place to "virtually" take us to. I absolutely love it!

"The decor is a combination punk rock, Japanese fusion and a litttle speakeasy making for a unique atmosphere." It sounds amazing and I love the way in which they serve the sake in that red decorative coaster, very nice.

70 different kinds of sake, I never even knew there were 70 varieties. That is awesome.

Great choice Marty!!

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiki Bar Susie

Sake Bar Very Cool Find , will check that out soon , but do they have Sushi ?
This one was a very cool find !!
Do you know what the Vapors song is singing about ?
I had that album on vinyl , those where the days .
I need a Sake or 2 right Now .

@JHwang: I don't believe they have sushi, but I could be wrong. I think it's more stuff along the lines of noodle dishes and soups. And, yes, I do know what that Vapor's song is all about. It's one of my favorite pastimes.

September 29, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Decibel looks like my kind of place. I don't particularly love the sake, but there's plenty other drinkage here to float my boat. Love the dim lights and all those sake labels, and you can't go wrong with a well-worn bar. Plus, it's downstairs and, hence, tornado free! Yep, another great place and another great post. Let the 100 bar countdown begin!

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

Any one gonna Haiku this place? I'll make a start....

Sake Bar Down Stairs
K pours Punk Rock Japan Drink
Marty Leaves Bar Drunk

That was my first ever attempt. Hope it worked....
Thanks for this post. It's good when you find something a little left of field to mix it up. Nice combination of New York dark bar and Oriental hospitality. Some times Japanese and Chinese restaurants can be a bit kitch but this is very cool and not tacky.

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack CRAWLS in 32 days!

@Tim Clack:
Nice Haiku Tim Clack
Five seven five pefect Tim
Who's next for haiku

September 29, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

as for a haiku
i can only say fuck you
turn japanese all you want

tim from down under
says sake puts him under
aussies flying in



September 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

There was an old hermit named Dave...
Who kept a......
Oh, never mind.

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

@raginrr & 365: Nice one and yes Sake has had it's way with me on a few occasions. Even though it tastes like nail polish remover I still love it. This haiku craze could catch on. It's the perfect setting. Keep your eyes peeled for a Tepanyaki bar Marty. It's a Japanese style BBQ and the food is cooked in front of you on the bbq plate. They don't plate the food up...they throw it at you. Perfect place for sake and nonsense.

Haiku catching on
Jaws and fitzy should join in
Baz and cab ride tales

Thanks to decibel, I'm only talking in in Haiku today but thats ok this will be my last post for the day.
See following Haiku.

Moonlighting cook work
photos of lakeside club bar
send to 3-6-5

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTim Clack CRAWLS in 32 days!

@Tim Clack:
Will look for photos
Don't burn your fingers at work
You need them to drink

Remember from ninty nine
Thanks for buying books

September 29, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

i have had some saki
i almost wanted to puke
a 99 moment

a lot have not read
but not tripping a cripple
a priceless moment

see motherfucker...KOC


September 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

Sweaty underwear
in Manhattan summertime
can cause a bad rash.


September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

You still gots it Biff
Thanks for the haiku-ka-choo
Lady Ta Da Da

September 29, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

I'm late again on the crawl
The fault at the General De Gaulle
he never made the school better
and now I'm an english teacher

I must prepare fucking grammar lessons
It takes me hours for few pronouns
Fuck the demonstrative determiners
I want some jap' liquors !!!!

jingle bells, decibel ♪ ♫
c'est bientôt noël !!!
let's smoke skunk
punk, drunk, junk, lalalala ♪ ♫



In the U.S., the song was believed to euphemistically refer to the face a male makes during the act of masturbation. In a VH1 True Spin special the band denied this. Songwriter David Fenton explained: "Turning Japanese is all the clichés about angst and youth and turning into something you didn't expect to."

Who really gives a shit though.

To: Beatintg your junk like an Iraqi prisoner!

September 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterI Came On Eileen

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