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.
/ ￥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.
/ ￥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.
/ ￥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
/ ￥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.