Filled with Korean supermarkets, skincare boutiques and merchandise pop-ups dedicated to K-pop idols, the neighbourhood of Shin-Okubo is often referred to as Tokyo’s Koreatown. And this is where you’ll find Bacon. Opened in summer of 2022, Bacon is a bar and music venue established by Jae Won Koo, the heir of the local samgyeopsal (barbecue pork belly) restaurant chain Tonchang. He spent several years at an art school in London before returning to Tokyo to pursue his own business.
Bacon owes its name to the family business downstairs and also the painter Francis Bacon. The neon-lit space echoes Damien Hirst’s room installation titled ‘Pharmacy’ – a deliberate choice by Koo, who also installed plastic stools inspired by the artist’s liking for glass-walled tanks and transparent display cases. The relatively recent opening means its noise level is hospitable to conversation on weeknights, but you can expect a full house for the semi-regular DJ events on weekends.