Get Thee to a Covent
I am told that Kitahories Covent Garden
Social Club is still a work in progress, although there
seems to be little evidence of this. Owners Richard Luke and Mark
Anthony im-part a respectful modesty about their project, despite
the fact that, after 8 months, the bar looks and feels as homely
and as comfor-table as anything you might hope for a kind
of Canadian Cheers in the middle of Osaka.
Richard and Mark, both long-term residents of
Kansai, have their credentials graduates of Tins
Hall, both of who have worked within the industry in a certain
number of capacities, including restaurateur, magazine publisher
and bartender, and most recently the running of OCATs Skybar.
Far from the genteel surroundings of its namesake,
Covent Garden is your archetypal neighborhood bar. Richard and Mark
wanted to create an relaxing atmosphere, somewhere that is like
hanging out in your living room, only with better food
and a much, much better selection of drink. Regulars are well treated
here, as are newcomers. Up to 50% of their clientele are serial
visitors, which adds to the relaxed, familiar atmosphere.
A very social club, by all accounts.
are many reasons why people keep coming back. The food must be one
of the top ones. So many places offer the best burger in Kansai
that the words are fairly hollow. The Covent Garden burger, however,
does indeed stand in a class of its own. Made from scratch
(including the bun), the CG take on the common burger is something
to be beheld. Food hovers around the 600 800 mark for an incredibly
generous portion. There are veggie options available as well.
Drinks are reasonably priced, with lager and Guinness
on tap. They also have a range of hard-to-find exports, that covers
a range of expat tastes. The bar will also be making things festive
at the appropriate times, with a Christmas dinner, and for those
sufficiently recovered, a New Years party the next week. Ask
for details. Sundays are movie nights. Mark and Richards Japanese
associates, Risa and Yuka, also do a sideline in ikebana and Japanese
language lessons in the adjacent Covent Garden Flower Studio.
Garden is also fast-becoming a favorite sports venue. Their handling
of the recent Rugby World Cup is testament to this the well-thought
out combination of a big projection screen, comfortable couches
and ample drinks makes it an obvious choice. If my friends had a
living room like this, I would never leave. Naturally, hockey makes
a show-ing, as do most of the big ones the Hanshin road to
(almost) victory was well covered, as is soccer.
Mark also displayed a healthy interest in Pride,
so if watching bloody gladi-atorial battles is your thing, this
is your place. The beauty of the set-up, however, is that it is
so much more than a sports bar. Most people just go there to hang
out, and if there are sports on, so much the better.
For those less physically inclined in the sports
arena, there are the old favorites. Pool and darts are housed in
a cozy little annex (priced ¥200 & ¥100 per game, respectively),
and if enough interest can be garnered, Mark has plans to launch
For a reminder of the good things about home,
a place to relax in comfort and sink your teeth into a big, fat
hamburger, there can be few options as attractive as this.
Covent Garden Social Club
Open: 17:00-Late, everyday
Kitahorie 2-5-10, Nishi-ku, Osaka
Nearest Stations: Nishi-Ohashi / Yotsubashi Stn.