Mr. B's: Zama bar has military in mind
Looking for a cozy, military-friendly and smoke-free bar near Camp Zama or Sagamihara Housing Area? Barry Bashaw, aka Mr. B, has you covered.
Located on Odasaga Southern road near SHA, Mr. B’s offers a wide variety of premium liquor, bottle and draft beer, and non-alcohol beverages. The spacious bar features American music from the 70’s and 80’s, and is popular among Zama service members, base employees and members of Japan Self Defense Force.
“Mr. B’s is great,” says Fritz Suga, Zama district manager of Stars and Stripes. “I go there a lot with my friends for the tasty dishes and drinks.”
Bashaw, the owner, knows a thing or two about appealing to the military crowd, as he is a retired service member himself.
“I retired from the DoD and U.S. military several years ago, and after traveling the world, decided to live in Japan,” Bashaw said.
Since opening in 2014, the variety of drinks and Bashaw’s homemade American foods have appealed to Mr. B’s customers.
“Their full-bodied chili, tasty spareribs, homemade potato salad and ham and corn soup are superb,” Suga said. “They just remind me of America.”
Unlike most bars, Mr. B’s is smoke free, and with its English speaking atmosphere, attracts not only service members and base employees, but also members of Japan Self Defense Force and locals who are learning English.
As he was tired of smelling like smoke after eating and drinking at local establishments, Bashaw, whose Japanese wife Keiko works on Camp Zama, decided to open his own place where Americans and Japanese could relax and enjoy learning about each other without the need for a passport, visa or ID card.
“No smoking, no table or seating charge and no children,” Bashaw said. “We are a bar where adults can relax and make new friends in the neighborhood.”
Specials are often offered in association with holidays and special events, and Mr. B’s hosts live music periodically.
“Bring friends or visit alone and make new friends,” Bashaw said. “Pot luck parties are welcome and we can open any day to accommodate them. I can cook specialty menus for any occasion when reservations are made for eight people or more.”