Photo: PR Times
lifestyle

English-speaking-only bar opens in Osaka and Tokyo; yellow cards for those who don’t follow rules

44 Comments
By Oona McGee, SoraNews24

In Japanese schools, English is a compulsory subject, but once students graduate it can be hard for them to find opportunities to use the language they’ve spent so many years learning.

Here to help with that is Shibuya-based company Cloud N Co, who’ve come up with the idea to open two bars in Japan — one in Osaka and one in Tokyo — where speaking English is compulsory.

Called Bar Sick! or “Sick!” for short, the new drinking holes are strictly English-speaking only, with staff consisting mostly of bilingual women in their 20s with native-level English conversation skills. Presumably, the name of the bar comes from the slang meaning of “sick”, referring to something that’s particularly great or impressive, rather than the literal meaning of the word.

▼ The Tokyo branch of Bar Sick! (pictured below) will be opening up in Nishi-Azabu, an area that’s home to a large number of foreign residents and embassies.

Screen-Shot-2022-09-29-at-11.51.15.png

Japanese is completely banned at both bars, and anyone who does accidentally speak Japanese will be yellow-carded as a warning. Those who rack up a certain number of yellow cards (the bar hasn’t specified yet if it’s two or more) will be required to purchase and down a tequila shot as punishment. Non-alcoholic drinkers won’t be able to escape punishment either, as they’ll have to buy and down a non-alcoholic shot instead.

This strict enforcement of the rules is said to help create an environment where patrons have to speak English, just as they would when visiting a bar in an English-speaking country overseas.

The bars are set to operate on a time-based all-you-can-drink system, with patrons at the Tokyo location charged 3,000 yen for 30 minutes and those at the Osaka location charged 1,500 yen for 30 minutes.

Screen-Shot-2022-09-29-at-11.52.15.png

This may sound pricey, but for those who want to improve their English skills in a real-life setting, it’s a small price to pay for free English conversation and unlimited drinks, especially when language schools in Japan charge a similar amount for English tuition, without any drinks or relaxed banter.

No prior reservations are required, and patrons won’t have to invest in any textbooks or learning materials before their visit — simply walk in, grab a drink and let your English flow. Both bars will open on 1 October.

Bar Information

Tokyo

Address: Tokyo-to, Minato-ku, Nishi-Azabu 1-4-33

東京都港区西麻布1-4-33

Open: 7 p.m.-12 a.m. (weekdays) 7 p.m.-2 a.m. (Fridays, Saturdays, and the day before a public holiday)

Closed Mondays

All-you-can-drink charges: 1,000 yen for every 10 minutes

Cashless payments only (PayPay and various credit cards accepted)

Osaka

Address: Osaka-fu, Osaka-shi, Kita-ku, Tenjinbashi 4-7-27

大阪府大阪市北区天神橋4-7-27

Open: 7 p.m.-12 a.m. (weekdays) 7 p.m.-2 a.m. (Fridays, Saturdays, and the day before a public holiday)

Closed Mondays

All-you-can-drink charges: 500 yen for every 10 minutes

Related: Bar Sick!

Source, images: PR Times

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© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

44 Comments
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Bar Sick!...?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Well they say the best way to learn a language it by total immersion. Rather suspect as people knock back as many drinks as they can to get their moneys worth, the quality of spoken English might suffer a decline!

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Called Bar Sick! or “Sick!” for short, the new drinking holes are strictly English-speaking only, with staff consisting mostly of bilingual women in their 20s with native-level English conversation skills.

So it is a girl's bar with young returnee Japanese females.

Certainly a market there with Kenta who spent a one month homestay in Brisbane and who is his company's goto English speaking staff to trot out his English.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Naisu! Chou-beri naisu! I'll be going there for a drinku when I go home to Nihon!

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Like they are going to speak English for real. What a gimmick. Good marketing!

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Just go to Roppongi or somewhere around there and you can speak English for free without having to get drunk.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Watch out HUB, you got some competition!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Probably, illegal.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

What a ridiculous idea, eyes rolling .. Anything to try and make money.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

patrons have to speak English, just as they would when visiting a bar in an English-speaking country overseas

Only when ordering a drink. They're free to speak whatever they want thereafter.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I worked in a central London Pub {during the punk era }

I couldnt understand the "English " of half the customers {native Brits }...the variation from those originally from towns and areas outside London was incredible.

Some geezer ordered a "pint of light and bitter " but he may as well have been speaking Chinese for all the comprehension it conveyed.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Years ago there was a coffee shop in Nakano for deaf-mutes, where speech was banned. I think it's long gone. I like the idea of a place where people communicate on chalkboards.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Those who rack up a certain number of yellow cards (the bar hasn’t specified yet if it’s two or more) will be required to purchase and down a tequila shot as punishment. Non-alcoholic drinkers won’t be able to escape punishment either, as they’ll have to buy and down a non-alcoholic shot instead.

Nice way to increase the sales...they,ll probably make a killing after a customer had the first couple of drinks.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What a ridiculous idea, eyes rolling .. Anything to try and make money.

Which is why you'll always be broke and working for someone else!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Just go to Roppongi or somewhere around there and you can speak English for free without having to get drunk.

Satire? More likely to be robbed in that dump.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I used to work in a patio restaurant at NishiAzabu where the entire staff was comprised of foreigners from all over the globe. The most expensive dinner was ¥1500.

We would stay busy ‘til closing @ 5a.m almost every weekend.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This is a pen. What colour do you like ?

riveting conversation - another beer please !

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I worked in a central London Pub {during the punk era }

I couldnt understand the "English " of half the customers {native Brits }...the variation from those originally from towns and areas outside London was incredible.

Some geezer ordered a "pint of light and bitter " but he may as well have been speaking Chinese for all the comprehension it conveyed.

Same. Some Cockney bloke ordered a bottle of water and I couldn't understand what he was saying. If you're not Cockney you can't understand it.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Ok, this is strange.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I have no problems with any English accent, Cockney, Geordies, Mackems, Scousers.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I thought it would be great for me to go since I don't get much of chance to speak English, but turns out it is just a girls' bar... wish it was a normal bar where mature adults serving drinks.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Charging in ten minute blocks is nuts. There should be one single charge.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Anything to try and make money"...pretty much the goal of any business

7 ( +7 / -0 )

NCIS Reruns, did you ever go to Rolling Stone in Shinjuku? There people communicated by writing notes uing paper and pens provided by the bar. This was not because the customers were deaf or mute but because the placed rocked and the music was too loud for conversation.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The girl in the picture doesn’t look like the kind of Japanese girl that can speak “fluent English”. Interesting, heheh. People wanna be original nowadays, let them be original. Yes, it’s strange, but if it gives me the opportunity of having a nice talk with some pretty girls, I’m fine with it. :)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I imagine it will be full of noisy and rowdy foreigners, no thanks.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Will there be a section for cats?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-11279221/Hilarious-cats-viral-online-strong-Irish-accents-adorable-videos.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

gaijintravellerToday  05:23 pm JST

NCIS Reruns, did you ever go to Rolling Stone in Shinjuku? There people communicated by writing notes uing paper and pens provided by the bar."

Newbie or what? The paper slips were for requesting songs to the DJ...u obviously never got the memo

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Some geezer ordered a "pint of light and bitter " but he may as well have been speaking Chinese for all the comprehension it conveyed.

That was quite a standard drink, albeit probably unknown today. Was it the accent or you just hadn't heard of this drink? I'd have thought it would have still been pretty common in the late 70s.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can see some of those fascinating conversations now:

So, where you learn speak English well? I once did a homestay in Kansas Shiti"

Can you eat row fish? Yes, I do

What's your job? I'm a cock
-2 ( +4 / -6 )

This probably brings back bad memories for a certain generation of Welsh people (and others).

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Kyabakura, don't go lose your money for nothing!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

GuruMick, I worked in London bars as a student in the 70’s and never had a problem with understanding anyone including foreigners of whom we had quite a few, including groups of Japanese. Light and bitter was a common drink in those days along with mild, mild and bitter and brown ale and bitter (can’t think what that was called). Though I haven’t heard anyone order any of them for decades. Nor a snakebite either!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

3000 yen for 30 minutes? Is this one to one lesson? or group lesson?

If the staff speak Japanese, do they have to give the student a drink for free?

Knock back one drink every 5 minutes, then its worth it. by the time your'e drunk out your mind.....you'll be babbling in English, and won't give two hoots about your grammar mistakes. "I goed to the supermarket yesterday. and I buyed a bento...OOOOOps.Yellow card. We'll still understand ya.Even if its painful on the ears.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

englisc aspyrgendToday  09:28 pm JST

Nor a snakebite either!

Now that's a drink I haven't heard about in years. Half a lager and Half cider.

In Japan that would be Half lager and half lemonade.LOL a shandy. Now that would confuse the Japanese bar staff.

Me* Half lager and "cider" Snakebite please.

JP:Oh you mean a shandy gaff

Me: No, half lager and half cider!

JP: That's a shandy. shandy gaff

Me: No Half a lager, and half alcoholic apple juice.

JP: head tilt.

I'll never forget asking for cider in Japan years ago and getting a lemonade mitsua cider.

Sigh!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

'Sick' on its own maybe but 'Bar Sick' really sounds like what you would see on the floor in the bar or the bathroom!!

Considering they're trying to help improve people's English, surely they could have come up with a better name!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That is called discrimination. Only English speakers? Are we going back to slavery era where blacks were only allowed to ride the bus at the very back side??

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

once students graduate it can be hard for them to find opportunities to use the language they’ve spent so many years learning.

This is a very strange statement. Most employment doesn't require English skills?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Most employment doesn't require English skills?

Very few jobs in Japan require English.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are several companies that speak English in their work.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are several companies that speak English in their work.

Very few jobs in Japan require English.

These are both true.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Learning English by ‘total inebriation’

Hope their livers forgive them…

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I can see some of those fascinating conversations now:

So, where you learn speak English well? I once did a homestay in Kansas Shiti"

Can you eat row fish? Yes, I do

What's your job? I'm a cock

Absolutely BRILLIANT!!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Learning English by ‘total inebriation’

Hope their livers forgive them…

It mentions non-alcoholic options.

Might be a fun place to go practice some barsick English.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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