Aug. 27, 2019 UPDATE

JAZZ & WHISKY Hello Dolly

Relax with a record and a drink at jazz bar Hello Dolly
Jazz bar JAZZ & WHISKY Hello Dolly has been putting on records and playing records since they first opened their doors in 1975. Their name originates from the jazz-loving original owner's personal favorite musical, and 1964 hit, "Hello, Dolly!" and its influence can be seen throughout the bar. At Hello Dolly you can catch live performances every Friday, Saturday and prior to public holidays. Every other day, you'll be able to hear famous jazz records playing on the record player. Every live performance is as authentic as it gets with performances by professional four-person quartets. The bar is also home to over 1,000 records and will gladly take requests. A jazz bar themed around the fantastical worlds of musicals in the traditional, Kyoto-esque street of Pontocho might seem somewhat out of place at first. However, in actuality, the whimsical atmosphere of Hello Dolly matches strangely well with the fairytale-like ancient city that is Kyoto. This can most easily be seen as you step foot inside the bar. This place, as it wraps those who gaze out upon the flowing waters of the Kamogawa River, or into the hearts of the dimly lit lamps in tones of spinning jazz records, gives off a warm, homely feeling. As the name, JAZZ&WHISKY would suggest, Hello Dolly is also a paradise for whiskey lovers. The bar stocks everything from Japanese whiskeys such as Yamazaki to single malts and well-known brands like Harpers. Whether you're there for the music, or there for the whiskey, Hello Dolly provides an at-home, welcoming environment that feels both high-end, yet comfortable.
Martini / ¥950 (Excl. Tax)
The so-called face of bars and king of cocktails, the martini. At Hello Dolly, they use a high alcohol percentage gin called BEEFEATER to serve a martini with the robust and undeniable aroma of alcohol. This martini may seem simple at first glance, but the process of creating unclouded ice and adding orange bitters is a subtle and complex one. This drink also gives you the opportunity to admire the flashy and skillful techniques of the owner first hand as well. Feel free to let the bartender know your preferences, as they will gladly make a martini a lower alcohol percentage on request.
Whiskey Sour
Whiskey Sour / ¥950 (Excl. Tax)
The whiskey sour, another universal king of cocktails. Incredibly popular, even in Japan, whiskey sours are refreshingly sparkling with a citrusy aroma. With a name like "Whiskey and Jazz Bar," you can probably guess that Hello Dolly have a particularly large selection of whiskeys. If you have any preferences as to which whiskey is used in the whiskey sour, feel free to let the bartender know. Whiskey sours are refreshing and easy to drink, so if you're looking to try whiskey, but aren't just quite ready to take it on on its own, try one of these first.
Seasonal Cocktail
3Let's Try!
Seasonal Cocktail / ¥1100 (Excl. Tax)
Hello Dolly’s Seasonal Cocktail is a cocktail chosen seasonally by the owner and head bartender. In summer its loquats and in autumn its Japanese Persimmons; every season has its own cocktail that features fresh fruits unique to that season. The menu changes every month, making this cocktail one of the highlights of frequenting this bar. The photo above is a mango cocktail and was taken when we went in August 2019. The base spirit of rum helps to bring out the natural sweetness of the fruit’s juices, making the cocktail taste like you’re actually eating the fruit itself. Give whichever cocktail is on offer when you’re here to enjoy Japan’s wonderful seasonal flavors.
Homemade Raisin Butter
4Let's Try!
Homemade Raisin Butter / ¥800 (Excl. Tax)
This is Hello Dolly’s special homemade raisin butter. The raisins are soaked in a dark Havana Club rum, and the butter is combined with Rémy Martin brandy. The butter instantly begins to melt when you put it in your mouth, giving off the exquisitely well balanced complex aromas of the two alcohols. Bellow the butter, you will find a beautiful bed of ice which has been given a distinctive blue coloring using a mint liquor. We recommend pairing this homemade raisin butter with a not so sweet alcohol, such as whiskey.
How to Order

On weekdays, the table charge for one person is ¥900. During the weekend, when there are live performances, the table charge is ¥950 to ¥1150, depending on the artist.

If you enter between 6 and 8 pm, there is no table charge, making this time frame quite a good deal.

Reservations are not required for live performances, so feel free to enter as you please. 

Once inside, make sure that everyone in your party orders at least one thing off the menu.

- Order Tips -

There is an English menu as well; however, if you can’t decide what to order, tell the bartender your likes and how you feel, and they’ll think up the perfect drink for your mood. Also, if you have any record requests, feel free to let the staff know. 

We highly recommend ordering whiskey on the rocks, as you will receive a beautiful round ball of ice in the glass.

3.4 food2.8 service3.5 atmosphere3.8
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.2 food3.0 service3.0 atmosphere3.5
I first went to Hello Dolly after hearing about it from my jazz piano playing mum. Since then, every time she’s come to Kyoto, we’ve gone together. When you hear jazz played on record players, it has a unique deepness to it, which is why whenever I go to Hello Dolly it gives me a warm, cozy feeling. Every cocktail that the incredibly dedicated head bartender makes are incredibly delicious. My particular recommendations are the homemade raisin butter and whiskey sour. The combination of mildly sweet raisin butter and whiskey is simply the best! When you visit Pontocho, definitely make time to check out Hello Dolly!
3.5 food2.5 service4.0 atmosphere4.0
The retro, western-style Hello Dolly always stands out on the streets of the very Kyoto-esque Pontocho. When I first opened the door, the red brick walls and long flower-patterned carpet that stretched all the way to the back gave me butterflies. The feeling of drinking my favorite cocktail while listening to the warm sounds of the crackling record was absolutely amazing. All of the staff are incredibly knowledgeable about records, so if you’re interested, ask them about some good record shops in Kyoto. For my girls out there, I recommend the delicious seasonal fruit cocktails. These cocktails are made with fresh, seasonal fruit, so are great for anyone wanting to enjoy a drink that matches the season.
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JAZZ & WHISKY Hello Dolly
Category Bars / Pubs
Phone +81 75-241-1728
Address Eng: 161 Matsumotocho Shijo Noboru Pointchodori Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-8012, Kyoto Prefecture Jpn: 京都府京都市中京区先斗町四条上ル松本町161
Directions 10 Minutes’ walk from the Keihan “Gionshijo Station” 5 Minutes’ walk from the Hankyu “Kawaramachi Station”
Open Hours 18:00 – 1:30 AM Sundays & Holidays: 18:00 – 24:30
Reservations Available
Closed January 1st
Price range
Past 8 PM, the table charge is ¥900 per person. (This changes during the weekend when there are live performances)
Credit cards VISA, MASTER, JCB, AMEX, Diners / Available
Good for Solo, Romantic, With Friends, Families with Children
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
Basic English
Menu English Menu
Lanuages spoken Basic English
Number of seats 34
Private dining rooms None
Non smoking / smoking Smoking is permitted in all seats
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