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FUSSA, Japan — “Bar Row,” the entertainment district that’s a popular hangout for U.S. servicemembers and civilians from nearby Yokota Air Base, isn’t exactly renowned for its posh establishments.

But just around the corner on the road leading back to base sits the Father x Mother Cafe & Bar, which isn’t Caesar’s Palace, Fifth Avenue or the Bellagio, but is certainly a little more upscale and stylish than many of the area’s notoriously seedy joints.

It offers a fashionably cozy atmosphere, and patrons can get that “dressed-up” feel without actually having to dress up.

Larger than most Japanese pubs, Father x Mother features lounge seating and even a recliner. The setting is conducive to quality bar conversation, with the music kept at a level that’s enjoyable yet won’t burst your eardrums.

Drinks are plentiful, reasonably priced and diverse enough to suit any need. The bartenders can do martinis — shaken, not stirred — or serve up a cold Budweiser.

The kitchen cranks out plenty of American-style dishes, all affordably priced, and the menu is English-friendly.

Father x Mother is hardly what one might expect a bar to be called — it’s almost like naming a disco after the pope — but owner Hijikata Teruyori, who opened it six years ago, declined to say how it came about or offer an explanation.

He said it gets busy on the weekends. If you’re into a wilder bar scene, however, this probably isn’t the best option outside Yokota’s gates. But it’s cool, contemporary and upbeat — as well as a few steps closer to the base.

See previous After Hours reviews here.

Father x Mother Cafe & Bar

Fussa, Japan

Drink prices: Beer costs 600-800 yen and options include Kirin, Asahi, Budweiser, Heineken, Corona, Bass Ale and Lowenbrau. Guinness is available on draft. Mixed drinks are mostly 700 yen, while wines start at 600 a glass.

Cover charge: none

Hours: 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. weekdays and 7 p.m. ’til … on weekends. Closed Thursday.

Food: An English-friendly menu includes light snacks, French fries, pizza, salads, hot dogs, penne and cheese, fried fish, sausage and fried chicken. Snacks start at 500 yen, with meals in the 800 to 1,000 range. Grab some ice cream for dessert.

Entertainment: An MTV-like channel plays Japanese and American music behind the bar. There’s one pool table (300 yen/game) and a foosball table (200 yen).

Clientele: A good mix of Americans from nearby Yokota Air Base and Japanese locals, ranging in age from mid-20s to early 40s.

Dress: Casual or dressy.

Location: It’s about a 5-10 minute walk out Yokota’s Fussa Gate. Cross Highway 16 and head toward “Bar Row.” It’s on the right just before Akasen-dori.

Telephone: 042-551-7023

Web site: none


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