At this hideaway wine bar, owner Toshiya Kawasaki takes the Japanese concept of a listening bar – where the proprietor plays their own collection of records on a high-end audio system – and combines it with his love of natural wine. Kawasaki is the owner of Mule Musiq, one of Japan’s leading dance music labels; a DJ himself, Kawasaki regularly plays in North America and Europe and was inspired by the natural wine movement in Paris. At Studio Mule, he sells around 1,000 varieties of natural wine from a personal collection accumulated over the past 10 years, mostly from France and Italy.
It’s usually Kawasaki pouring the wine and selecting the records, which are played on a top-of-the-line vintage audio system, complete with Klipsch Cornwall speakers, a Thorens turntable and a Mark Levinson amplifier (all coveted items for music buffs, trust us). The mood lighting and elegant bar is the work of architect Koichi Futamata, known for his work with the Australian beauty brand Aesop. So it's no surprise that Studio Mule showcases his characteristic strong, clean lines and earthy aesthetics. Guests sit along a long granite bar counter, and behind them, a glass-fronted liquor store sporting a neat, impressive collection of natural wine.
Wine comes by the glass and by the bottle; craft beer and liquor are also available. For snacks to accompany your drink, there’s French organic cheese and plates of cured meat.