"Cafeteria for grownups" in Jiyugaoka--produced by Blue Note
New York’s Blue Note jazz club has been making inroads into Japan since 1988 and today continues to provide a dedicated venue for listening to authentic jazz performances in Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo. Blue Note Japan isn’t just about jazz clubs, either; it has also expanded to include cafés and restaurants. In the fall of 2014, it opened a new café—Jiyugaoka’s own Blue Books Café Jiyugaoka.
This self-styled “book café” is the second to have the distinction of being produced by Blue Note Japan, preceded only by Blue Books Café Shizuoka. The concept behind the space is to serve as a “cafeteria for adults” that can evoke a sense of familiarity and nostalgia to the town’s residents, while also being tucked away somewhere in town cozy and “local” enough that patrons wouldn’t think twice about coming in daily to relax and unwind. The menu lineup draws on this theme, too, with nostalgic yoshoku (Western-influenced Japanese cuisine) dishes from decades past such as omuraisu and naporitan pasta.
With a floorspace of just over 215 square meters, the café accommodates 77 guests in all. Bar seats, tables and sofas are all available—whatever makes you feel at home.
Their volume-packed lunchtime menu (11:30am to 2:30pm) includes the Blue Books Café Hamburger (¥1,200), with its characteristic hamburg steak–like patty, as well as various lunch specials from ¥1,000, each with a baguette and small side of salad.
Dinner time (5:30pm to 10pm) features an original menu created by Blue Note Tokyo Group Senior Chef Takahisa Nagasawa of three-star restaurant La Côte d’Or fame.
Also of note are their Japan-exclusive izakaya-inspired kushiage plate selection (from ¥900), the abovementioned retro Japanese omuraisu (“with specially selected eggs,” ¥1,100) and Jiyugaoka naporitan (¥1,000), and the “chou farci stewed in a cocotte” cabbage rolls (¥2,000). You can also enjoy various appetizers (from ¥500), salads (from ¥800), main dishes (from ¥1,600) and a generous drinks menu that includes their own original craft beer, Blue Note Tokyo Beer (regular glass ¥700).
(above info as of October 2014)