100BANCH, the co-working space opened last year by Panasonic in tandem with start-ups like Loftwork in Tokyo's Shibuya district, is now complete with the dining facilities having been opened and fully running on the first floor of the building. CAFE Company (aptly, CAFE standing for Community Access For Everyone) is in charge of the cafe/restaurant/bar as well as the LAND Seafood Dining Room.
Actually, the LAND Seafood opening was announced last October and full operations started in November of 2017, in an area near JR Shibuya station's recently-opened New South exit. The building itself is a building converted by Tokyu Railways, another 100BANCH partner and rail operator known for the Daikanyama (in Japanese, “Lords’ Town”) development efforts nearby. Shibuya itself is a well-known start-up hub for Tokyo, another brand-image location.
In fact, this reporter and his trusty cameraman/AI expert decided to do a “Michelin” (unexpected visit) on the eatery in January. Just this month had I spoken to a certain OS expert and we had agreed that real AI [despite being good “smart speakers”... perhaps now in planning at Panasonic too but...] is one that would be able to provide a gourmet report. So to prove we are correct, I dropped in on the yet-quiet neighborhood.
As they were billing seafood as their forte and in collaboration with the legendary seafood outfit Uoriki (having been in business since the 1930s!), we purposefully ordered meat and vegetable fares along with beer – with my colleague staging an accident by spilling half his beer, to fathom the reaction which proved that the staff is very well trained. We found our dishes most delicious, perfectly seasoned worthy of compliments to the chef.
Not only were we more than satisfied with the service (no special treatment since we did not unveil we were press until we finished), we found the innovative setting... as noted by my photographer, “colorblind-friendly even”... remarkable. The musicians were on the modern side but quite good. I was thinking even a well-behaved child here would be fine, though obviously not to be welcomed at the bar with its wide variety of drinks.
Seeing a couple with a small baby in a stroller coming in further reinforced the feel that General Manager Hiroyuki Yano from CAFE Company is serious about the “Community Access For Everyone” motto. Although obviously still in the process of fully implementing Universal Access Design to the establishment, I assume that by the time the accessibility, for now mostly bicycle-friendly, to the entire neighborhood is improved after all the adjoining building works are finished, such design would also be in place.