The Capcom Bar is an entertainment bar located near the Shinjuku Ward Office, a stone’s throw away from the amazing Robot Restaurant. The nearest subway exit is B9 from the Shinjuku Sanchome station on the Marunouchi line, but it is also within walking distance from the JR Shinjuku and Seibu Shinjuku stations. There is no table charge, and the prices are very reasonable for Tokyo.
The venue is open from 2:00pm on weekdays and 11:30am on weekends, and closes at 11:30pm. It operates in 2 hour slots, with a 30 minute pause to clean up and give the staff a break. The slots are as follows: 11:30am – 1:30pm (weekends only), 2:00pm – 4:00pm, 4:30pm – 6:30pm, 7:00pm – 9:00pm and 9:30pm – 11:30pm. The annoying thing about the system is that you can’t reserve a table in advance or over the phone. You have to go there in person on the day in order to make a reservation. Once the reservation is made, you can call them to change the reservation. When the bar first opened, getting a table was quite difficult, but the last few times I went, there were no problems, and there were few people there besides us, especially if you go for the last slot on a weekday.
All the food items and drinks in the menu are game themed, with pages dedicated to popular Capcom titles such as Resident Evil (Biohazard in Japan), Phoenix Wright, Monster Hunter and many others. Ordering certain dishes will make the staff act out a scene from a game, such as the Phoenix Wright onion ring tower, which makes everyone shout “Objection!” to the sauce, or a drink that makes them send out a hadouken, which rarely hits in the direction they are sending it too.
The staff are always fantastically helpful, enthusiastic, and enjoy talking to the customers. It’s always refreshing to see people who don’t hate their job, and they genuinely don’t. You can tell. There has always been someone who could speak some English, so the language barrier isn’t too much of a problem here. Plus, all the menu items have pictures, although they do provide an English menu if you ask. Once you’ve chosen what you want to eat or drink, you have to use your matching skills to find the item on the order sheet, as it just has the dish names in Japanese. You can also ask the staff to do it for you. The food itself is really good, especially compared to other theme restaurants in Tokyo, and the selection of drinks is impressive. The portions are quite modest though, so it’s always a good idea to order a few different things and share.
There are free games you can play on the Xbox, PS3 and 3DS, and magazines and game books that you can look at. Once per time slot there is also a prize draw. Each seat has a number, so they draw a number out of a box and if it matches your seat number, you get the prize. The prizes vary – I have seen t-shirts, phone pouches, badges and stickers so far. Our table won the last 3 times I went because there was hardly anyone else there, or the other customers left before the lottery (it is near the end of the time slot).
On top of everything else, there is a goods menu from which you can buy souvenirs. The menu changes every few months, and the good items sell out quickly, but you can still buy something from your favourite game. The last order for goods is an hour before the end of your time slot. Last order for food and drinks is half an hour after that.
If you are a fan of video games, this is definitely a place you want to visit.