Editor Note: Gold’n Bub has moved to Chigasaki. This review has been kept for posterity’s sake
The sleepy town of Tsujido has seen a lot of change in recent years. The north side has exploded into a sprawling plaza of shopping malls, wide roads and brightly lit buildings. The south side, however, has remained largely untouched by the march of progress- it’s more individual shops that change hands rather than great tracts of land.
Gold’n Bub is one such bar- opened in 2013, it’s nestled behind Gold’s Gym amongst some great kushiyaki and yakitori standing bars. Two minute’s walk from the station, it’s hard to miss as well. The bar’s front is all sliding glass-panel doors, which has confounded many a punter looking to head off into the night.
Open the correct door and you’ll be welcomed by the perpetually happy manager Konny, as well as bartender Mai and chef Ryota. The bar is pretty small, seating about 15 and standing room for 5; at busy times solitary drinkers will have to shuffle seats to accommodate couples and parties of four or more are really rolling the dice. It’s mainly counter seats as well, and you will almost definitely end up chatting to your neighbour or the staff. Introverted folks might be put off by this, but it’s not as if you are required to talk. The decor of the bar is pretty hipstery: brass fittings, local artwork, novelty glasses and taxidermied trophies adorn the walls. And the smallest toilet ever (next door, not on the wall).
Onto the beer! Gold’n Bub serves only Japanese craft beer (as well as the usual cocktails). There are ten taps, including one real ale pump. Tap one is always the lightest beer, and they descend from lager to ale to stout as you work your way down the line. The taps are rotated constantly, and Konny keeps us up to date via his blog as to what he’s just opened or got coming in in the next week. He sources barrels from all over the country, from local stuff like Yorocco (whom they collaborated with for their second anniversary commemorative beer) to beers from Hokkaido, such as Otaru, and Shiroyama from Kagoshima. You can always count on there being something interesting on tap, although sometimes there will be an abundance of similar styles out of sheer coincidence. I was once in the mood for a stout and was awash in a sea of lagers and golden ales for the evening. Alas! Beers are priced across the board at ¥550 for a half, ¥950 a pint and ¥5400 for a “mega”(which nobody I know has had the courage to order).
The food, made by Ryota, is nothing short of a marvel. Considering the tiny size of the space he has to work in, he produces some incredible stuff made with unique ingredients. You can’t go wrong with the sock-knocking-off buffalo wings, and in the past he’s had dishes with breaded Aguu pork cutlet from Okinawa, grilled lamb, and seared venison with blueberry sauce. You’d be hard pressed to find such dishes in a restaurant- never mind a craft beer bar – especially outside of Tokyo. Prices are incredibly reasonable as well, with all of the dishes clocking in at under ¥1000.
Gold’n Bub One Paragraph Review
Gold’n Bub is a fantastic place. Maybe not for introverts or claustrophobic folks, but if you’re in the mood for some lively banter with the locals you’ll be rewarded with constant surprises from both the beer selection and the food menu. It’s great to see a well-rounded place like this, that takes pride in its food as much as its beer (even if they do call the food menu “things”). Get to Tsujido! Not on Sundays though, they’re closed then. Bad news is that smoking is allowed inside.
Gold’n Bub Details
Open: Monday to Saturday 17:00 – 01:30 (L.O 01:00)
Homepage (in Japanese): Gold’n Bub Blog
How to Get to Gold’n Bub
Only one line serves Tsujido, which is the JR Tokaido line. Take the Tokaido line down there, one stop after Fujisawa, and leave via the south exit.