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Sept 2003

KS Classifieds
#017 out now

Deep Freeza

Another new establishment goes right off the beaten track and provides the foreign community with an alternative

From the ashes of foreign-owned bar Arcadia rises a serious alternative to those drunken, forgotten nights at the gaijin haunts of Osaka. Freeza takes on a different approach — the focus is on music and quality -— a far cry from the cut-and-paste DJs and alcopop promotions of their rivals.

Located in a dark corner of the Ameson Building in Amemura, Freeza can be a tad hard to find the first time, but it's worth the effort. The location itself is very central - follow the road from the Pig and Whistle across Midosuji. It's a block or two up there, on the second floor.

The interior has undergone a startling change from the days of Arcadia. Ayberk Eti, manager/owner/creative force has fashioned it into a cosy little drinking den, with echoes of his native Turkey reflected in the rough plaster walls and bar display. Freeza's size (think about 15 mats) works in its favour. It doesn't take hundreds of people in there to get things moving, and when they do, it's a rare thing if they stop before the early hours.

Ayberk, an ex-English teacher who took a chance and started up Freeza as another option for both the foreign and Japanese communities, says that he generally doesn't kick people out — part
of the charm of the bar is that they'll accommodate you as long as you're having fun — hence the regular sightings of bleary-eyed patrons stumbling from the maw of Ameson at ten on Sunday.

At present, due to workloads, Freeza's menu is not yet up and running, but Ayberk wants to bring some more of his near-eastern flavour to Osaka, with tapas — olives, feta, etc — available soon. In the meantime, check out his tacos and nachos.

One of Freeza's current specialties is its cocktail range, including fresh mojitos. All cost ¥800. Beers are the standard ¥500, and there is an extensive spirit list as well.

Ayberk, a DJ of some years experience at various Osaka venues, has made Freeza one of the best places to come and chill to some decent music. If you're tired of the obvious cheese of most of the big gaijin bars, it's definitely a place worth checking out. He stresses quality, and the names he has recruited to help him out on the ones-and-twos is an obvious reflection of this commitment. Saturdays are the big ones, with DJs Ange, Spicer and Clifford mixing up a range of music around a housey/breakbeat vibe.

A Sunday hip-hop night is also in the works, steered by the able hand of Clifford, one of the most able scratch DJs in Osaka.

Freeza is a welcome diversion from the tune-out, get-pissed ethos that we have all come to know from the foreign bars of Osaka. Freeza has the potential to keep on going, and to provide something for those with a desire to escape the run-of-the-mill drudgery of the Osaka nightscape.

Owner: Ayberk Eti
Address: Ameson Square Building,
2/F, Nishi-Shinsaibashi 2-8-33, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Nearest station: Namba (or even Shinsaibashi)
Open: Weekdays 8pm-1am Fridays/Saturdays until late
Closed: Sunday & Monday
Tel: 06-6213-1090

Text and Photos: Eua McKirdy


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