There is also a plan with an airline ticket.


Comptoir Coin: A "gathering place" that is joining the neighborhood through wine


--What is the origin of the name Comptoir Coin?

(Yusuke Marui, owner of Comptoir Coin) "Comptoir" is a general term for an establishment with a counter and "Coin" means "gathering place" in French. Since opening in September of 2015, many local people now drop by casually, as regulars. And with the power of social media, there are also customers from abroad who have come to know about us.


--Many of your customers are locals, do you often have exchanges with the locals and shops in this neighborhood?

Yes. It is because of the Shitamachi downtown area that the sense of distance between people seems closer and it is easy for a sense of community to form naturally. Plus, my restaurant is a small space that seats only ten. I think that because the seats are so close it's actually easier for conversations between customers to naturally occur. And since the restaurant has an open kitchen, naturally I myself also communicate with the customers. Through such interactions, I ended up buying my tableware from an artist who I was introduced to by a customer.



--Comptoir Coin is characterized by its genre-less menu development and the natural wine, which is simply delicious. Did you plan on emphasizing these points when you were first starting the restaurant?

In the start, I actually disliked wine. But when I encountered natural wine, I was able to drink wine, and for the first time, really appreciate its flavor. That experience was impactful and made me very happy. One of the motivations of opening this restaurant was my hope that I could change people's idea about wine, 180-degrees, just like what had happened to me with natural wine.
When we first opened, there were few restaurants in the area that carried natural wine. I was born and raised in a place not far from here and wanted to create a place where people could drink natural wine leisurely, so I chose a particularly quiet area, even within Kuramae.


I have had many customers who have told me that since drinking natural wine here for the first time they've become able to drink wine, or that I've changed their thoughts about wine. From being moved purely by the deliciousness of the natural wine to gaining more and more interest in its particularities, I hope to help my customers explore more, such as the difference in flavors between different producing regions. I believe that if it is delicious, communicating it is the easy part.


--Do you consciously think about the combinations of wine and food?

I don't actually pay too much attention to the pairings. I cook with the hopes of making people full and satisfied. I aim to have a downtown wine bar that allows customers to drop their guard and just enjoy the food in their own style. It's fine, for example, if customers want to fill their bellies with pasta while enjoying wine, and at the same time I also welcome people who just want to indulge in a little glass of wine and dessert.


--In the few years since opening, have you felt any change in this area?

I do feel that there are more and more people coming from outside, year by year. But I do not feel that the locals have changed. One of the characteristics of this area is that there are many long-established shops, and I would also like to continue my restaurant for as long as possible. I think the longer Comptoir Coin is here, the more opportunities I can establish and understand this neighborhood. It is just like how my restaurant introduces people to natural wine. After creating the opportunity to encounter something new here, individuals go off and make deeper discoveries on their own, and contributes to the growth of the community. I hope that as a restaurant I can help push things along.



Comptoir Coin
A small, almost hidden restaurant with 10 seats that opened in Kuramae in September, 2015. Its selection of natural wine has garnered much attention just via word-of-mouth. The menu, created by the owner Yusuke Marui who is experienced in various genres of Japanese and Western food, has accumulated many fans including both locals and visitors.
Instagram @comptoir.coin
1F 4-8-9 Kuramae, Taito Ward, Tokyo
22 minutes walk / 8 minutes bicycle ride from NOHGA HOTEL UENO
〉See on Google Map