Former cinema in Shintenchi has had a makeover and turned into one of Hiroshima’s most stylish nightspots.
To add an air of mystique, EIGHT doesn’t appear on the sign outside the building behind the Poplar convenience store off Shintenchi Park. The empty listing for the 6th floor is a hint, and you are reassured you are in the right place once you get in the slightly grubby elevator. As soon as the doors open, however, you find yourself in a world of sleek design, mirrored passageways that is decidedly metropolitan.
Greeted at the elevator by friendly (and very polite) staff who lead you along a dimly-lit passage, you feel you are somewhere a little different to most other nightspots in Hiroshima. At the reception area the ordering and payment system. This is all done via IC chips in bracelets; your bracelet is scanned on ordering and the bill is payed at the same reception desk on leaving.
Our group was told that all seating was full, but that we were welcome to stand and take any seats that became available, and luckily a table for four had opened up by the time we got down to the stairs to the bar. The bar staff were quite busy so we were given another electronic chip to take to our seat which buzzed when our order was ready to be collected – it was a shame that that functionality isn’t built into the bracelets themselves.
The main room was, I guess, the main hall of the cinema, spacious and with high ceilings, you get a sense of space (enhanced by the manlier decor and lack of smoke) rare in this part of Hiroshima. The walls of the room are lined with raised, cushioned zashiki-style seats equipped with tables similar to those at 24/7 coffee & roaster ujina. It’s shoes off on these, so do a sock check before you head out, and you really don’t want to spill red wine on those pure white seat coverings.
There are also some high tables with bar stools, as well as a few seats along a counter that runs along the side of the long DJ booth, packed with classic vinyl, which dominates the middle of the room.
Upstairs, are several private rooms, also with zashiki seating.
Music is, of course, a matter of taste, but it is a little up and down in the way typical of this family of bars and restaurants. The emphasis is on lounging, and the soundtrack is certainly eclectic; jazz and classic soul may segue into Leo Sayer and John Denver. On a late Friday night visit pop music videos were occasionally projected on the wall which seemed to interrupt the otherwise carefully crafted atmosphere.
There is a ¥500 per person seating charge and beers start at ¥600. They have some very refreshing juices for and juice cocktails, as well as food menu which includes asian dishes such as fresh spring rolls and nashi goreng Indonesian fried rice but also salaryman comfort food like fried chicken and fries.
- Credit cards
- Smoke free main room
- Smoking room
Opening hours: 17:00-05:00
Address: 6F Leisure Building, Shintenchi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi 730-0034