Several years ago, Japanese convenience stores began selling better coffee, offering fresh donuts and rolling out eat-in seating spaces for customers. Now, one convenience store chain in Fukuoka has taken the next logical step: a bar.
This week, the Poplar convenience store located in front of Fukuoka’s Hakata Station just opened its first bar. It replaces the convenience store’s previous eat-in area. This is being called the first of its kind in Japan.
As the official announcement explains, the retro-style drinking establishment is located inside the convenience store. Called Osake no Bijutsukan (The Alcohol Museum), it offers over 1,000 different drinks with prices starting as low as 500 yen per glass.
Osake no Bijutsukan is originally a chain of bars from Kyoto.
Since patrons can buy alcohol at the convenience store for takeout or order drinks from the bar, this is being called a kaku-uchi (角打ち), which is a combined bar and liquor store.
As Yahoo! News Japan explains, drinking alcohol is banned at many eat-in areas at convenience stores due to the high number of underage customers. Here, the store can separate the legal drinking age adults into a bar inside the shop. Customers can buy snacks at the convenience store, carry them into the bar and order a drink. The official release also notes that the bar will be strict about verifying drinking ages.
The convenience store hopes this drinking establishment will also appeal to foreign tourists visiting Fukuoka.