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July 2004
Issue 050

Special 50th Issue!

The Buzz Word

Buzz Café, to be found in the bohemian bar/ café neighbourhood of Kita-horie, is a relatively new addition to the area, and is a triumph of style and design.

I was first introduced to Buzz by a friend of mine, an architect and a man with an eye for the aesthetic. He enthused about its interior — all clean lines and monochromatic schemes. He wasn’t wrong about that, but to focus on this exclusively would only tell half the story.

Buzz is a bar that epitomizes Horie, a fine mix of style and substance. The name reflects the atmosphere — the kind of energy that enlivens the place on a busy night can be electrifying. Masterminding the operation is Fukuno (Fuu), manager since its reinterpretation in February of this year. At that time Buzz’s owner, along with Fuu, coordinated with an interior designer to re-fit their bar to some exacting specifications. The results are plain to see — Buzz is split-level, with a small balcony sitting atop a well-stocked, sleek bar. The sound system is impressive but almost invisible, as all the speakers are hidden behind sliding panels that do much to improve the look of the seating area without taking anything away from the sound quality.

These speakers are put to use every night, with Fuu preferring a house sound during the week, also dabbling in R&B and rock, depending on his mood. The first Friday of every alternate (odd-numbered) month is given over to DJ events, with an eclectic mix of DJs and styles — an all-genre night with wide appeal for all music lovers. Fuu says that these nights fill the space to capacity — around 40 — but the space is never over-crowded. Weeknights are usually quieter affairs, with a steady stream of regulars augmented by newcomers drawn to the interior and stylish entrance.

One of the great things about Buzz was the food — a little on the small side, but adventurous in a Southern-Europe-meets-Japan kind of fusion. Unfortunately the old chef has parted ways with the establishment but this, will lead to an interesting make over of the menu. His replacement, penciled in to begin in July, means a new menu, bringing with him an eclectic new range. Until he’s settled in there is still bar food to keep you satisfied.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the bar. It is impressively stocked, with quality spirits including a selection of shochu and sake. Regular mixed drinks and draft beers are ¥630 apiece but the real draw is Fuu’s original cocktails — just tell him what you like (you can be as specific or as vague as you like) and he’ll mix you up something unique for ¥735.

Another promising point about Buzz is its availability for private parties. It was recently featured in Zekushi, a prominent wedding magazine as one of Osaka’s best places to have your wedding party. Menu and drink options are negotiable, as is the music, so should you wish to celebrate a special occasion in style, Buzz will be able to help you out.

Buzz Café
1/F Crest Bldg 1-10-2,
Kita-horie, Nishi-ku
Open: 5pm-late
Nearest station: Nishi Ohashi (Exit #4)
Tel/Fax: 06-6536-3454


Text & Photos: Euan Mckirdy


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