Atsugi bar serving U.S. community for 20 years
With pizza, tacos and hamburgers on the menu, Bar Skunk aims to provide a piece of home to the U.S. military community.
Only a 5-minute walk from the NAF Atsugi main gate, the American-friendly bar seems to fit the bill of “neighborhood pub” well.
Since it opened 20 years ago, Skunk has been known as a popular American-style bar offering a wide variety of premium liquors, bottled and draft beers, and non-alcohol beverages.
While most of its customers are American service members and base employees, many others, including locals, frequent the shop for its American bar atmosphere, according to Manager Shin-ichi Sato.
The manager says he always tries to offer an authentic American atmosphere with selected drinks and food items so service members on NAF Atsugi can feel really at home in Japan.
“The pretty impressive façade actually reminds me of a typical American bar in a resort or downtown,” says Fritz Suga, Zama district manager of Stars and Stripes, and a frequenter of the bar.
As soon as colorful beer bottle-shaped illumination lights up on the bar’s façade at 6 p.m., people can enjoy a pinball machine and darts in the spacious setting. There are even various dollar bills on display behind the bar, only adding to the atmosphere of the place.
Besides the large drink menu, the bar offers big, American-sized portions of many foods from home handmade by Sato.
“Among hundreds of food items, hamburgers are the most popular,” Sato said. “The burger include fish, chicken and bacon cheese burgers, and you can top with grilled mushroom and egg.”
“I like the bar’s softshell tacos,” Suga said. “Frankly, I assumed that tacos could never go as a meal, but I was wrong when I saw the large tacos.”
The bar often hosts DJ events and opens earlier with barbecue during the days when NAF Atsugi opens the base to the local community.
“You must have missed something, if you live or work near the bar and have not visited yet,” Suga said.